Copyright © 2015 Melanie Maddison
After a near 6 creative year hiatus, I was called to starft arting again. My collection that came through at those steps back to reignite my art fire in 2012 started as an expression of something that was calling, this inner calling was brought about through a desire to heal and recover from the most challenging 10 years of my life & a feeling to explore and connect much that I had learnt through my life both in my career and Art school study “The Calling of the thread” collection was born. Through this 10-year period I was diagnosed with several syndromes, diseases and conditions. I was constantly told & read that what I was diagnosed with was mostly incurable & that Id have to learn to live with most of it. Well I wasn’t going to just live with it, there had to be another way. So I embarked on a journey of recovering.
You know, when I was a kid, I dreamt of being a sweetie shop owner, hours and hours to scoff my face full of sugar, I mean which kid didn’t want that!? As I got older the lure of fashion design took my fancy: reems and reems and reems of designs covered my dads office in the long hot summers I spent there, above Oxford Streets Top Shop no less, I was in 80’s retail heaven! “Nooo , you don’t want to be a fashion designer” my family said , probably something to do with my family’s background in the “shmutter” business from the early 1900’s or more that they didn’t want me to fail in comparison to the teeny percentage of successful UK fashion Designers. At the time rising stars like Vivienne Westwood or Katherine Hamnet were around forging their own unique ways.
So, they of course let me do a very “normal” degree in product and architectural design, because every “normal” 16 year olds dream is to be a famous furniture & product designer of course!!! Despite my joking, it has led me on my path and right where I should be right now
Im not even sure where that dream came from, (may be I was channeling my dads inner dreams of being an architect), but it also grew from a fascination with window displays, borne out of my love of seeing all the Christmas windows in central London as a child. This led to a journey studying 2D design, visual merchandising & eventually my 3D design degree majoring in metal work, silversmithing and glass & minors in History of British product and furniture design & photography. Each time evolving & adding to my bank of knowledge, armed with a very much-honed drawing ability.
Fast forward 20 years and you see me bashing my heels down London’s Victoria Roads pavements to my desk and what would be my last placement as a Buyer within a major retail institution amongst the Furniture industry. Having chewed my way through 3 buying offices, (all with a different cultures, market , demographic and buying ethic), when in one August week it all turned on a dime, after a seven-year cycle, like a button was flicked, I knew my path had to change. I had to design & create for clients, and myself, so I handed in “that” letter and left it all to pursue Freelance furniture design & consultuncy with the very suppliers I used to buy from. It was a perfect flow from buying, having already designed alongside them product developing as a Buyer.
Unfortunately the universe had other ideas, the bottom was just about to fall out of the UK furniture manufacturing industry and move mainly to Far East & along with it the lucrative Freelancing Royalties & design contracts! Funnily enough at the same time my broody dial was turned to the max & ten months later out popped my 1st mini me, Albany!
So what’s an old career girl to do, finding that corporate office is not really her bag & stuck at home with a teeny special tiddles? Well I went back to my roots at Art college and started creating a small collection of 8 large canvases based on simple geometry and flowers inspired by Japanese HanaMi – Cherry blossom viewing. This was no mean feat in a teeny studio in my house of about 5ftx6ft, my larger pieces of 180cm had to be half in the room and half in the hall to complete!
A new friend came along, fascinated with my abilities, & my work history. Having a bought a new house, she promptly hired me to decorate and re design said house from top to bottom. Having worked for one famous UK catalogue ; buying products for 40 -50 pages & equating to the same number of room sets being created every 6 months ……… Overseeing the design of each of those room sets twice a year for four years, left me in no doubt of my abilities to do the same in a living breathing home & she felt the same too!!
Boyo was that a cake to chomp down on in my fledging design business!!! The project found me suspending floors, designing furniture being sent in from China, commissioning light fittings, putting together myriad different paint colours, sourcing fabrics, flooring, selecting umpteen accessories and a never ending list of choices to be made!
Then during this 2 year endeavor out pops baby girl number 2, feisty Bryce !!!
Not long after, I embarked on attuning to Reiki 1 (a form of symbol led Japanese spiritual healing). I had already been part of a psychic, clairvoyant & healing development circle for over 3 years at this point and the same force guided me to develop my healing skills even further. Some time later I then attuned to the practitioner level 2 Reiki and this led me into a whole new world of voluntary healing in a local hospice. This experience deepened my intuitive abilities on my spiritual journey, opening my eyes to the challenging journies people make in this life and their health.
Parallel to this whole journey, was my passage through the various serious and sometimes grave health issues that I mentioned earlier, in my own life! I seem to be like a cat with 9 lives, & I don’t tell you this for pity, or even accolade, just that whatever gets thrown at me I have been determined to overcome - just about! Even if it comes calling again, I have tools to help me re centre and re connect with source & allow freedom once again. I embarked on a programme with the help of Doctors, Professors, Naturopaths, nutritionists, spiritual healers, yoga teachers, intuitive guides and Life coaches.
Its quite hard to define what’s focal in the making of us, I feel it’s a gradual drip drip drip feed. I feel my health problems and the journey to recovery was one of self-awakening & acceptance. These experiences have bettered my compassion towards others and heightened my empathy around the human condition. My art exploration & yours is a tool for deepening self-awareness and understanding. I see it as a sacred way to connect with an inner subtle world, this inner world is where much magic happens: connected to what changes seasons, allows us breath, moves the sea and very much moves this world we are in!
I’ve been part of this magic in becoming well again through my art & healing adventure. My adventure continues & I wish to share my story and my gifts, gather together a Soul art community and tribe , so that others can feel safe to share their own innate gifts too.
This same magic grows as I connect in all different soul and art groups, circles online and going forward my local community. I also love to use up some resistance-to-work time gorging on images in Pinterest & sharing community & thoughts on life via facebook & twitter.
I am a part of many growing and hugely valuable online communities of like souls from all corners of the world.
I wait and see what other magic transpires on this journey going forward.
I look forward to you joining me as you journey on too.