"Melanie Tomlinson is an artist who has pursued a strongly personal vision in her work, and which I have seen steadily evolve during the last ten years. Her work - sculpture and automata - sits firmly within many key current concerns of contemporary fine and applied art - the decorative, the folk, narrative content, and the natural world. She has an extraordinary generosity and connection to people, and this comes through in both her sculptural work, and as an artist leading in participatory projects."
Andy Horn, Exhibitions Manager, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
"Melanie Tomlinson's highly visual and stylized characterizations and scenarios take the viewer into an imagined world of narrative and myth. Superbly crafted and rich in detail, her work embodies a range of cultural references and combines traditional hand working techniques with new technologies. As an artist working in a participatory context Melanie is skilful in facilitating the experiential dimension of making to elicit and share the embodied and tacit knowledge which both she and the participants have. The resultant creative expressions and social engagement demonstrates that cultural interrogation through the crafts enables a discovery of depth and meaning, interconnectedness and what it really means to be human in a diverse world."
Deirdre Figueiredo MBE, Director, Craftspace
"Melanie's integrity and values filter across her work. They are evident in her continuing ability to deliver innovative, creative and engaging 3d pieces as well as excellent participatory arts practices. She is an artist that Hybrid trusts to think provocatively and to challenge participants. Central to this is that Melanie simply produces high quality pieces of art which take audiences on multi-dimensional journeys."
Samina Zahir, Director, Hybrid
"Melanie Tomlinson's printed tin boxes and automata are inspired by folklore and the natural world. The images and symbols she draws on, from many different mythological sources, allow her to create her own personal, magical and mysterious worlds–in–miniature. Hidden details abound – whether physical such as a handle on the automata; a secret interior space in the box – or narrative – a lace fabric composed of tiny animals. The details are only revealed on close inspection, the eye drawn by the confident richness of the overall composition."
Text courtesy of The Scottish Gallery
"It was a pleasure to mentor Melanie during 2009 and observe the considerable development of her work and ideas during this period. Since then Melanie has continued to make work that is elaborate, intricate, fantastically colourful and technically challenging. The magnificent Snow Leopard, for example, illustrates how her sculpture, dioramas and jewellery are grounded in her research and interest in nature, folklore and narrative. Melanie lives her life with the same dedication and sense of responsibility as she devotes to her work: her strong sense of humanity, equality and belief in the unifying power of nature makes the objects she creates not only beautiful but full of added value."
Frances Lord, mentor and curator
"Melanie is the local artist for 1mile˛ Smethwick, a British Council, DCMS, ACE and Urban Living funded programme. She is a fantastic communicator and energetic participatory arts practitioner who engages and inspires people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Melanie's practice is strongly rooted in imagery and narratives of nature and her work is both beautiful and accessible, speaking to a broad audience. She is highly committed and enthusiastic with a genuine desire to engage people in the creative process."
Donna Vose, 1mile2 Programme Manager, Visiting Arts