Melissa Hartley

Represented Artist


Melissa Hartley is a self-taught artist, who studied graphic design and has been working for the last 16 years in publishing in Sydney and Edinburgh. In 2010 she decided to pick up the paint brush again and pursue her love of painting.

Her compositions feature darkly poetic female portraits against undefined backgrounds, in a void or dream-like state. These mystical portraits of women, almost haunting in their beauty, are steeped in the natural world, each work contains an element of the supernaturally surreal. They are contradictions within themselves, brought to sensual life through surrealistic icons & symbols. Each subject is attractive, yet somehow disturbing.

These paradoxes play an important part in her work, the subtly strange, with an intermingling of the pretty and obscure, distant and elusive, but at the same time sensual and enticing. These females seem like they could be from another world.


University of Western Sydney – Graduated 1993

Bachelor of Arts (Design) with Distinction   Major – Graphic Design/Illustration


Solo Exhibitions

2016 NOV “Nocturnal Heartstrings”, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast QLD AUSTRALIA
2015 MAR “The Tarnished Age”, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast QLD AUSTRALIA
2013 JUL “Phases de La Lune”, Auguste Clown Gallery, Melbourne VIC AUSTRALIA

Group Exhibitions

2017 FEB “Lover’s Eye”, Modern Eden Art Gallery, San Francisco, USA

2016 DEC “Kindred Souls & Spirit Animals”, Alexi Era Gallery, Oregon, USA
2016 OCT “Mission Blue”, Haven Gallery, New York, USA
2016 JUL “Tokens of Love”, Copycat violence online show
2016 MAY “Happy”, 19KAREN Contemporary Artspace, Gold Coast, Australia
2016 MAR “BeMused”, Copycat Violence Art Collective, Penumbra Gallery, Loures, Portugal
2015 DEC “Wanderlust”, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2015 NOV: “Interiors”, group show – Copycat Violence Art Collective. Gristle Art Gallery, Brooklyn, USA
2015 OCT “Les Petit Fours”, beautiful.bizarre & Friends of Leon Gallery Invitational, Friends of Leon Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2015 AUG “Pain/ting”, presented by 19KAREN Contemporary Artspace, Open Walls Gallery, Berlin, Germany.
2015 MAY “Spring Unveiling Arts Festival”, Archimedes Gallery, Oregon, USA
2015 FEB “Myth, magic and lore”, Bash Contemporary, San Francisco, USA
2014 NOV “Thoughts on a grey day”, Archimedes Gallery, Oregon, USA
2014 NOV “Kilgour Art Prize”, Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle, Australia
2014 JUL “Temple of the Soul: bodies and sacred systems”, Alexi Era Gallery, St Louis, Missouri, USA
2014 JUN “Kulture Klash”, Queen Mary, Long Beach, California, USA
2014 JUN “Wilderness”, Auguste Clown Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2014 MAY “On Beauty”, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2014 APR “Universe: the art of existence”, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2014 JAN “Tarot Under Oath”, Last Rites Gallery, New York, USA
2013 NOV “Grand Opening”, Alexi Era Gallery, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
2013 AUG “Curiosities”, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2013 MAY “The Art of Cirque Du Soleil”, 19KAREN Contemporary Artspace Hosted by Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia
2013 MAY “The Language of Flowers”, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2013 FEB “Venice”, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2012 NOV “Vanishing Points”, Auguste Clown Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2012 MAY “Small is beautiful” Pyrmont Art Prize in association with Tap Gallery, Sydney, Australia


2015 NOV: “Interiors” group show, Hi-Fructose
2015 NOV: “Interiors” group show, beautiful.bizarre
2015 JUL: “Virtuosos of Paint”, Out of Steps books
2015 MAY: The Traveler issue, Avari Magazine
2015 APR: U on Sunday liftout, Sunday Mail
2015 MAR: beautiful.bizarre Issue 8
2014 Tarot Under Oath, Art book
2014 JUN: beautiful.bizarre Issue 5, special edition, “INKED” group feature
2014 FEB: Hi-Fructose online feature (Tarot Under Oath)
2013 JUL: beautiful.bizarre, Issue 1
2013 JUN: Pony Anarchy Issue 10 interview
2013 MAR: The Flying Fruit Bowl online feature
2012 JUL: Nothing to Nobody Issue 9 July-Sept 2012, Interview
2012 JUN: Interview
2012 MAY: online feature
2012 MAR: Curvy online feature
2012 Artist directory online Q&A


2017 MAR: North Sydney Art Prize – finalist

2016 SEP: Gosford Art Prize – finalist
2016 SEP: Northbridge Art Prize – finalist
2016 MAY: Kirribilli Art Prize – finalist, people’s choice award
2014 MAR: The Kilgour Prize – finalist


Free exclusive e-invites and newsletters