Melanie Tomlinson is an artist who is passionate about creating visual narratives involving marginalized spaces and communities, both human and natural.  She is fascinated by spaces which are often neglected, found hidden between urban and rural places, often overgrown yet full of life- ‘edgelands’.  Often people meet here, wildlife thrives and they are strange, fragile, magical corridors which can be seen as metaphors for transformation, changing identities, memory and experience.  She observes and notices small details weaving her own memories and true stories about these into elaborate and often complex sculptures.  Her intention is to honour the stories of the overlooked through making things that are full of emotion and vitality.

Melanie has worked with a variety of communities for over 20 years in a socially engaged context.  She encourages exploration of ideas, materials and artistic processes relevant to the narrative of each community.


1993-1994 Birmingham Institute of Art & Design MA Illustration
1990-1993 Birmingham Institute of Art & Design BA (Hons) Illustration

Solo Exhibitions
2018 Ghost Horses and Guns, Wolverhampton Art Gallery
2013 Company of Cranes, Levels Centre, Somerset
2007 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Selected exhibitions
2017 A Curious Turn, Crafts Council
2016 Made in the Middle, Craftspace
Kraniche, Ariane Hartmann Gallery, Hagen, Germany
2015 LOOT, Museum of Arts and Craft, New York
2014 Automata, Ruthin Craft Centre
2011 Ghosts of Gone Birds, Rochelle School, London
COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery, represented by The Scottish Gallery
Vogelschau, Craft2eu, Hamburg
Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool
2010 COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery, represented by Bluecoat Display Centre
2008 Things Beastly, Flow Gallery, London
2007 Beautifully Crafted, National Glass Centre, Sunderland
2006 Made, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
2004 Midlands Arts Centre Birmingham
The Story and the Song, Brewery Arts, Cirencester
1999 Objects from a Lifetime, Bilston Art Gallery
The Great Exhibition, Hitchcocks, Bath
1997 Making Movement, Oriel Myrddin, Camarthen

2017 Arts Council Award for Ghost Horses and Guns at Wolverhampton Art Gallery
2015 Feeney Fellowship awarded to explore ceramics within own practice
2010 Arts Council Award for development of new work
2002 George Little Management International Award
2001 Creative Ambition Award, West Midlands Arts
2000 Year of the Artist Award, West Midlands Arts
1998 David Canter Memorial Award
1994 Tangye Memorial Prize
1993 Louise Ryland Travel scholarship to Prague

Selected Commissions
2017 A Festival of Tales, Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk
2013 The Company of Cranes, RSPB, Somerset Art Works, Germany and UK
2011 Animal Stories, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester
2009 Paintings in Hospitals, London
2007 St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London
2006 Evelina Children’s Hospital, London

Public Collections
Manchester Metropolitan University
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester

Selected teaching and participatory projects
1994 – present
Craftspace, Arts Council, RSPB, Somerset Artworks, Visiting Arts, Hybrid Consulting, Soul City Arts, Craft Council, Staffordshire University, Newman University