Melinda was born in Australia but lived in Israel for many years before moving to the U.K in the mid 1980s. She has been involved in studying and working with textiles for over 25 years. Her contact with the textile world began at an early age, as her father was director of a commercial dyeing and weaving company. Later, during her time in Israel, Melinda studied and completed a number of textile and art based courses at the Tel Chai FE College.
After arriving in Britain, Melinda was delighted to discover the Chelmsford branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild and immediately enrolled on the City & Guilds Creative Embroidery courses, completing Part II in 1993. She 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.
A founder member of the ‘93 textile group and EAST, (of which she was chairman from 2006 to 2016), Melinda enjoys the challenge and stresses of producing work for regular exhibitions and private commissions. Her clients are both local and from abroad. Through the medium of fabric and thread, Melinda endeavours to achieve a vibrant and exciting quality to her creative work, with design sources taken from her Australian or Jewish heritage.
The unusual combination of materials has always interested Melinda and been 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 fabrics has 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 themes of Melinda’s work.
For Making a Point! Melinda explored "how we can appreciate the colour that surrounds us. In “Moments in Colour”, I have created walls of white knitted surfaces that allow just a glimpse of hidden jewel - like wire layers. In that moment we perceive something different – a glint as subtle as a ray of sunlight. In using long, malleable lengths I have created a visual space where the overwhelming whiteness provides a backdrop for the subtle colours of the knitted wires. White, not considered a hue in its own right, has a powerful neutrality perfect for observing patterns and shadows formed by the interplay and free movement of the different layers."
For Between the Lines Melinda looked at the role of Australians, both the indigenous Aboriginal and the white European fought and died on the western front and Gallipoli for the new world they belonged to and hoped to return to.
Melinda has recently completed a BA Honours in Art History and Psychology.
To learn more about Melinda and see more examples of her work visit her personal website at - www.melindaberkovitz.co.uk
For The Power of Stitch
For the Power of Stitch, Melinda has returned to one of her popular themes - water studies.
In this new work she considers the relationship between the sea and the men that come every day to fish by the sea wall.
Her frequent walks along the Jaffa port and coastline have allowed her to be the observer, the recorder and the collector of discarded fishing apparel. Endless hours of watching the sea in all weathers and the tenacity of the fisherman is inspiring.
Suitable for all levels, Melinda offers workshops in:
Silk Painting – various techniques and ideas
Wild Weaving – exploring weaving using a hand frame loom with wires etc
Machine Embroidery – various techniques and ideas for exploring free machining.
Specialist workshops in soluble fabrics and / or textures and surfaces are available.
Available for talks and demonstrations.
Contact - Melinda@easttextile.co.uk for more information
or visit Melinda's personal website - www.melindaberkovitz.co.uk
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