Melinda Berkovitz

I have been very fortunate to experience life in three continents - firstly an idyllic childhood growing up in Sydney, Australia. This was followed by a long period in Israel where I still maintain a home and a mango farm  by the Sea of Galilee. In the mid 1980s I moved to Essex, England with my husband and young family for what was going to be a short period. Unbelievably this has turned into nearly thirty years! Now with my grown up children returned to Israel and the joy and distractions of grandchildren, I am increasingly spending my time between the two locations.

Artist Statement

Melinda was born in Australia but lived in Israel for many years before moving to the UK in the mid 1980s and has been involved in studying and working with textiles for nearly thirty years. Melinda was introduced to the world of textiles at an early age as her father was director of a commercial dyeing and weaving company in Sydney. Later, during  the early 1980s, Melinda completed a number of textile and art based courses at Tel Chai Further Education College, Israel.

After arriving in Britain, Melinda was delighted to discover the Chelmsford branch of the Embroiderers' Guild and immediately enrolled on the City & Guild's Creative Embroidery courses, completing five years of study with Distinction at Part II in 1993. Melinda holds a Certificate in Education (PCE) and teaches and mentors various workshop groups and textile-based programmes for adult education colleges in Essex. She has also worked for many years with awarding bodies in accreditation and moderation of art and design related courses. In 2015 Melinda gained a BA (Hons) in Art History and Psychology.

A founder member of the '93 textile group and E.A.S.T. (of which she was Chairman for eight years) Melinda enjoys the challenges and stresses of producing work for regular exhibitions and private commissions. Her clients are both local and from abroad.  A series of her silk paintings celebrating the Four Seasons was purchased some time back by a local Hospital Trust for the breast care unit. These are still on prominent display by special request of the nursing staff.

By using the exciting medium of fabric and thread, Melinda endeavours to achieve a vibrant and exciting quality to her creative work, with design sources often originating from her Australian background or Jewish heritage. As a keen colourist, Melinda’s choice of palette is always central to any of her selected subjects.  “The  use of layers entices the viewer  to really study my pieces in order to explore their full message.  My multi-cultural background means I am rarely short of inspiration – just the time!”

The unusual combination of materials has always interested Melinda and this has become a prominent feature of her work. Many times she incorporates a multi – layered effect by using painted and decorated silk fabrics within her pieces. These often take the form of backgrounds that provide the base for further embellishment and detail. In her more recent work, a partnership of acrylic surfaces and silk painted fabrics  proved successful when exploring her “water – based” themes.

Weaving techniques have also been a regular choice when planning and developing ideas. The challenge of working with wire warps has been an exciting concept that Melinda has continued to explore. By combining a variety of wire gauges with a range of fabrics and threads, the less predictable outcomes often lend themselves to the developed themes within Melinda’s work.

I love to challenge myself by working with the unconventional. The effects created in the weaving process vary each time new combinations  are explored. It is a never ending evolution of ideas.”

Contact Details

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