Our rainbow, sparkly, sequined selves - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
Sparkling Solidarity by Melanie Fleet | Issue 214

Sparkling Solidarity by Melanie Fleet

Our rainbow, sparkly, sequined selves by Alessia Belsito-Riera

Seeking to create colourful and quirky works that champion a deeper social narrative focused on identity, equality, and empowerment, Whanganui-based artist Melanie Fleet presents her first capital exhibition during the Wellington Pride Week.

Explosive Empathy runs from the 4th to the 10th of March at Thistle Hall and features a collection of mixed-media paintings and digital prints that challenge LGBTQIA+ discrimination and aim to shape social narratives with resilience.

A multimedia approach allows Fleet to produce her creative ideas in the many forms in which they manifest. Explosive Empathy features 3D art, photography, painting, and more.

An exhibition intending to create dialogue, Fleet says that Explosive Empathy questions “why we still have so much volatility surrounding people who are just wanting to be their true selves”, celebrates the “gains we have made in the fight to be and love whomever we wish”, and promotes the acceptance of “our rainbow, sparkly, sequined selves.”

“This narrative is informed by the current climate of volatility surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community, of which I am a part of, illustrated by the juxtaposing of the destruction of grenades with the fun and frivolity of sequins, glitter, and a little bit of fairy bread thrown in for good measure,” she continues.

“As I’m exhibiting during Wellington Pride, I hope to inspire people, whether it’s artistically or just to know you are not alone. For those not in the LGBTQIA+ community, I hope a level of understanding and empathy can be developed that may not already exist.”

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