Melanie Evans is an Aboriginal woman from the Northern Territory, who is an artist and curator, living in Wagga Wagga. Melanie has a diverse involvement in the Cultural Arts side of Wagga through her own making, curatorial practice and community engagement work.
Melanie’s art practice involves analogue photography, poetry and sound recording as a way of storytelling and capturing local oral histories. As a poet, Melanie has entered poetry slams over the years and enjoys the performance side of spoken word.
As a printmaker Melanie runs various programs for primary school teachers, community and university student teachers. Workshops are designed to demonstrate how Aboriginal culture can be included across all Key Learning Areas in the classroom through the medium of printmaking.
Melanie developed her interest in curating while she was a student in 1996 and has been involved in many community events and cultural festivals since then. Her most recent project Wingadhan Waggada Wayburra - Women of Wagga Weaving (WoWW Project) was driven by the local community to create fibre craft of significance and contribute to the revival of weaving techniques in the Riverina area. This group, now known as HOW-Hands on Weavers, Wagga Wagga is comprised of Wiradjuri and Wagga Wagga Aboriginal Elders, young women from Mount Austin High School, Indigenous and non Indigenous women from the community.
The HOW group have had two major exhibitions, Yalbalinya Ngurra: Learning side by side (2010) and Giilangbang Bangamalanha: Sharing Stories (2011), and has objects within the Australian Museum and Museum Victoria’s collections. Melanie and Linda Elliott (Curator of Education & Public Programs at WWAG) support and facilitate the HOW group. Exhibitions have included various fibre objects and documentation of the journey the group has taken so far, including exchanges with other weavers from around the country including Virginia Kaiser, Clair Bates, Julie Geogh and Bronwyn Razem.
Melanie’s Art is inspired by the land and experiences in her life, a point where all artists create from. She loves teaching in schools from Kindergarten up to University levels and especially within the community. Melanie believes in sharing her creative skills and love for her Indigenous Culture through her Arts Practice.