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Quarantine Confidential: Melissa Borman

Are you ok? What are you doing to stay sane & ride out the quarantine?

I am ok for the moment, but like most of us I have moments of despair. Today I worked on updating my calendar. It’s helping me to grieve all the great things I had scheduled in March and April and to start making new plans. I’m endlessly grateful to have a steady paycheck and working on ways to support those who don’t.

Who or what has had the biggest influence on your career/work?

Two places/environments have significantly impacted my creative practice. I grew up in Hawaii and cherish the constant connection I had to the natural world growing up. We were practically wild in paradise and didn’t know any different. The second place is a small village in Ireland. For 15 year, I taught an interdisciplinary study abroad program at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland. I still draw inspiration from the exposure to Irish and other European artists, and my colleagues and students at the BCA. But like Hawaii it was direct access to an amazing, wild, and open landscape that has fueled so much of my work.

Best art show you’ve seen this past decade and where?

Dorothy Cross at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. I just looked it up and it was 2005! So not in the last decade, but one of the most influential shows on my practice. Powerful, challenging content and she works with every medium. I had a strong tech background in photography and was reluctant to work outside a medium I was so comfortable with. Cross’s show inspired me to let the work be idea, rather than medium driven. It was a game changer.

What are you working on right now? What’s coming up for you on the calendar for the future? Anything you want to plug?

Fingers and toes crossed the postponed Rosalux exhibition A Collection of Recollections and Other Significant Detritus by Melissa Borman, & Terrestrial Transect by Areca Roe will be able to open in May. We will let you know as soon as we know, but day by day seems to be the only way forward. I have a show up of work from my book A Piece of Dust in the Great Sea of Matter at the currently closed Eide/Dalrymple Gallery in Sioux Falls. I plan to have some version of the show online in the next few weeks.

What is your porn star name? (First pet, mothers maiden name)

Better than a porn star name, I have a Roller Derby name: BattleGirl Skatetastica.

Melissa Borman is a Minneapolis based photographer and installation artist. Her work addresses the interconnected relationship embedded in using landscape elements as metaphors to depict our human stories and how these depictions shape our ideas of our surroundings. She is particularly interested in how the methods we use to share stories, from fairy tales to social media, impact our collective understanding of the natural world.

Melissa has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including Regional Cultural Center, Co. Donegal, Ireland, Galería Valid Foto BCN, Barcelona, Spain, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA, Filter Space, Chicago, IL, and Griffin Museum, Boston, MA. Melissa is a member of Minnesota’s longest running collective art gallery, Rosalux. She is a recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board, Artist Initiative Grant, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Grant, and Rochester Art Center’s Jerome Emerging Artist Award. Melissa’s self-published artist book, A Piece of Dust in the Great Sea of Matter launched September, 2019.


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