Melissa Bell

Artist Insights: Melissa Bell

Melissa Bell is a proud Gunditjimara and Yorta Yorta woman making art deeply connected to her Country and culture. Since joining The Torch program every painting of Melissa’s has sold.

Making art makes me feel connected to my land. To be an Aboriginal female artist, just to put down a beautiful picture from my Country – knowing I can put that down on a canvas and express my Country to other people is amazing.

Melissa primarily paints her Country and her totem because it makes her feel connected to culture. In her paintings of The Murray she uses bright colours and striking patterns, such as diamonds to represent fishing spots and circles to represent waterholes and stars.

I like to paint water. I grew up around the Murray and it inspires me a lot. I love doing my turtles – the Yorta Yorta turtle, my totem is my favourite to paint.

In the future Melissa is looking forward to painting more of her Gunditijmara culture as well as her Yorta Yorta culture.

Art runs in the Bell family and Melissa sees her uncle and great great grandfather as big inspirations. She learnt a lot about art from her family which motivated her to become a trained visual artist with a completed Diploma 1 and 2 in Visual Arts from RMIT.

Because of her family she has always had a strong connection to art.

Art has always been a part of me.

Melissa thinks joining The Torch program really saved her life helping to keep her out of jail. This has changed her as a person and given her opportunities to get her artwork into the world and connect with other people.

Take a look at Melissa Bell’s colourful Confined 12 artwork online and be sure to keep an eye out for future works from this great artist.