Melinda Hackett’s, Places: Real and Imagined, presents engulfing images that often share their names with places that the artist has either passed through on her travels or encountered in literature that she listens to during her studio sessions. The mint greens and baby blues of vinegar hill 2012 conjure a neighborhood in Brooklyn; earthy brown coppers and tree branch patterned medallions in forest haunt 2012 refer to a roadway in the Vermont countryside; the dark, rich blues of broken harbor 2012 call to mind the fictional Irish sea coast town in the novel of same name by Tana French; and three pines 2012 responds to stories of a fictional Quebec city in the Inspector Gamashe books by Louise Penny.
Apart from their literal reference points, the paintings are lively, dynamic and harmonious musings of growth, abundance and evolution. They suggest a dialogue between internal and external, miniscule and monumental. In the viewer’s reality, the rounded, cell-like floating pods are the dimensions of a hand held object. Indeed, if they were to exist in three dimensions, one would be tempted to pick them up and carry them away. In their two-dimensional space, however, the forms float and sail poetically within and without the confines of their borders. The viewer, in this case, become encouraged to imagine and contemplate the foreign spaces of the canvas and their connection to the naturally inspired worlds.