Meet Melle :
'Storm' - Walanga Muru 2019 Scholarship Auction
Pacific Runway Stall Melle Haimona 2019
My name is Melle (pronounced M-EH-L) and I am a 28 year old intuitive Ngunnawal artist living on Wangal land (sydney) and I am terrible at writing biographies lol.
Basically I have drawn forever and painted since my daughter Rose was born 7 years ago. Eventually I was introduced to Procreate in 2017 and boom, game changer.
Growing up away from my family's indigenous connections, I spent a lot of time practising te reo Maori with my kids and learning with them about their heritage which, in its beauty, eventually flowed out through my art.
In 2018 my work was featured exclusively at Aotearoa Festival in Campbell town including a first time collaborative piece "Wahine", with Arawhata Haimona's incredible ta moko design work.
Within a month of Aotearoa Festival we released a "Tane" to our Wahine which both to this day are the two top selling designs online.
2019 was a big-ass-year!
In June 2019 Walanga Muru hosted its annual auction to raise money for Macquarie University indigenous scholarships. I was invited to showcase some of my work as an Aboriginal artist, by university elders I had met years earlier who had followed the development of my work. I loved being a part of the auction, creating huge pieces like 'Storm' (shown left) and have donated pieces every year since.
July 2019 I started sharing my passion a little closer to home, teaching Paint n' Sip classes locally. I now have a class every month and have expanded into children's lessons, extra large canvas classes and even collaborated with other artist to do speciality groups too.
October 2019 was probably the highlight of my year when I was asked to join the small selection of store owners and artists at the prestigious Pacific Runway event. For those who don't know, which I think is no one but just in case, Pacific Runway at Carriage Works in Sydney is like the Met Gala of pacific fashion and art. Pacific Islander, Maori, Aboriginal and creatives alike join together to reclaim the meaning of representation and it is the most beautiful show I have ever had the privilege of seeing. bar none. ever.
2020 has already been a whirlwind and in early January Jess Thompson-Carr (@Maori_Mermaid) wrote an article about her top 5 wahine to follow for The Big Idea NZ. The phenomenal artists I was listed with and the message of empowerment Jess helped me to put forward is to date my proudest moment.
As for right now, I have spent so much time these past years encouraging other peoples strengths that the newness of 2020 has presented itself as is the time to focus on me. To replace what I lost and grow what I always knew was there into something we can all see and be proud of. My message is always love, pride, strength in your people, in your ancestors, in your womanhood and in your country.
Thanks for coming along for the ride x