The Art of Auto Trance Portraits with Melissa Alley

in Art/Interview/Latest/Spirituality

Melissa Alley is a prominent artist who grew up in an art environment, her father being an art critic and her mother a sculptor. Melissa attended art school where she studied under Cecil Collins. TST went to Melissa’s studio to discuss her series of auto trance portraits and drawings.

Melissa’s moving story of coping with the loss of her second child and how she used art to help with her grief is what led to this new series of artworks that she calls auto trance portraits.

Melissa explains how she made these paintings without any conscious control. Melissa had collected old portrait photographs from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Trained in hypnosis, Melissa tune into the photograph and then she would start to paint or draw letting her hand work without any particular concentration. The results would be an abstract style picture which when studied reveals a lot of information about the person in the photograph. Within the colourful art can be seen scenes, people, animals and much more.

Melissa spoke to TST about how she adapted this technique for an interactive exhibition titled ‘Soul Sessions’ at Bethnal Green, where she would invite the people who came to view the exhibition to take part by allowing her to draw them in this style and then would discuss with them what was revealed in the picture.

To see more of Melissa’s art and where she exhibits please go to her website