melie Ducommun’s striking paintings attempt to harness both the beauty and energy of natural landscapes. A seasoned traveler, the artist draws her creative inspiration from discovering new panoramas and exploring unfamiliar geographies. Much of her work focuses on the temporality and subjectivity of memory, foregrounding questions of perception and emotion, as well as the interrelation between natural elements. For Ducommun, truth can be found in first impressions, the fleeting moment when unfamiliarity compels a focus on emotional candor and unbiased observation.
Ducommun’s deeply textured and layered paintings speak to the varied behaviors and visual qualities of marine environments. Thick brushstrokes of cobalt are visible underneath wisps and swirls of pure white, while mottled shades of green punctuate the canvas alongside bursts of bright yellows and concentrated browns, evoking diverse elements singular to aquatic ecosystems. The radiance and luminosity of her works is also a defining characteristic, breathing life into the subtle yet emotionally charged elements of light and shadow.
For Ducommun, the natural world holds in itself the memory of time and history, as organic elements readily belie the passage of time. Water in particular, creates an unmistakable footprint on the environment, both eroding and creating new terrains. The core of her practice seeks to uncover the rhythms, echoes and hums of different ecologies and translate them into a visual experience. In her work, the artist endeavors to “penetrate the surface of the water, dive, and imagine the bottom of these aquatic movements and noises.”