Melissa McGrath

May 15, 2018.

Posted by Julia Kukkonen.


Melissa McGrath // April 2018.

Melissa McGrath is a visual artist and educator from Kansas City, Missouri, The United States. She joined us here at the Fish Factory for the month of April 2018 to focus on her drawing practice.

Melissa makes drawings by burning holes to the paper with a smoldering incense stick. The method of drawing this way is an irreversible process and the drawings are usually dealing with the transformation and the ways people move through traumas. The drawings and the meditative process of making them is her way to depict traumas, both the ones we have as individuals and those of different communities. The process of drawing with a smoldering incense stick is very laborious practice and for Melissa, also this tedious labor is an important part of the artwork itself.

While in the residency, Melissa started working on the biggest drawing she has made so far. The paper being bigger than the artist has special meaning to her and is fitting as the things she is going through at the moment are also bigger than her. Melissa spent countless hours working on the drawing and was particularly interested in feeling the effects of the physical labor in her body as she spent the working hours making the drawing on various positions from being on tiptoes to lying on the ground.


The piece Melissa created while in the residency // April 2018.


//More of Melissa’s Work//

Check out the interview here:

Thank you, Melissa!