In the third of a series of collaborative events as part of the newly formed Melissa Collective, Brazilian shoe brand Melissa is supporting Ashleigh Kane with her group exhibition, Am I Making Sense.
The show focuses on coping mechanisms for the 21st century whereby young people have increasingly been turning towards spirituality to process feelings of self-worth, self-love and self-care. Affirmations and the power of positive thought have proved successful to many wishing to unlock our individual potential.
Am I Making Sense brings together three artists, including Shon Faye, Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee, and Ruth Ossai & Ibrahim Kamara, to explore an affirmation that is personal to them.
Ashleigh explains: “I was drawn to working with each artist because while their output, aesthetics and execution are different, their works are centred by identity. Each fearlessly embraces alternative perspectives informed by their diverse experiences and desires to push representation forward. Whether that’s Shon’s brutally honest, dark humoured, narration of her life as a trans woman, Elizabeth dismantling stereotypes that surround Asian women, or Ruth and Ibrahim giving a voice to how West Africans living in Yorkshire are carving out new meanings of what it means to be British.”
Collectively the show will bring together photography, film, set design, and subtle sensory elements to immerse visitors into a celebration of each artist’s identity.
“I really wanted to ensure we had a range of voices included in this show. Identity is a fragile notion to a lot of us and many of us also struggle with the concept of self-love or self-acceptance. I’ve seen first-hand how alternative voices can empower the people who have long been silenced by the mainstream; those struggling with mental health issues, LGBTQ people, and non-white communities, to name a few.
“By working with each of these artists, I hope to reach people who might be experiencing those feelings or questioning their own sense of self. We know our heads can be a scary place, but the idea of working with affirmations is the notion that that same mind can also be an important tool to help steer things in another, more positive, direction. I’ve never underestimated the power of positive thought and hope that through these artists being brave enough to tap into their own insecurities about their identities and turning them into moments of strength, other people can relate, and ultimately do so too.”
About Ashleigh Kane
Ashleigh Kane is the Arts & Culture editor at Dazed. Born in Melbourne, she has been based in London since 2009. Previously she worked in PR before joining Dazed in 2013.
Ashleigh is also a curator, producer, consultant and freelance writer and frequently shifts amongst realms including subculture, fashion, art, music, and beauty. In Summer 2016, alongside New York’s Art Baby Gallery’s Grace Micelli, she curated a one-night-only exhibition titled A New Sensation at Mother London. The show featured 20 London-based artists including Campbell Addy, Ronan Mckenzie, and Polly Nor, and was attended by over 500 people. She has also worked with Gucci, Versus Versace, ASOS, Brick Magazine, and Gap Jeans, amongst others.
For nearly 30 years, Melissa has been working hard to design innovative fashion footwear achieving beauty through their design. All shoes are made from PVC and are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Over 50 million pairs of Melissa plastic shoes have been manufactured in the last 25 years and walked their way to 80 different countries around the world.
Galeria Melissa, Covent Garden is a space made where art, fashion, and design all live together. Located in one of the most emblematic buildings of the region, the futuristic atmosphere belongs to multi-media designer Muti Randolph. Previous Galeria Melissa installations include; Zaha Hadid, Karl Lagerfeld, Jeremy Scott, Gareth Pugh, Vivienne Westwood and Claire Barrow.
Galeria Melissa, Covent Garden is the third of its kind, joining the flagship in São Paulo, Brazil and a recently relocated space in New York City, USA.