Melanie Kane is a Brighton-based multidisciplinary artist who particularly specialises in sculpture,
textiles and filmmaking. Their artworks often explore the themes of gender, identity and the body
whilst using a variety of materials to realise these themes. Melanie uses a variety of different
methods and mediums to create their sculptures, this includes clay, wood and plaster.
Butch Femme is the outcome of Melanie discovering their identity as a queer, non-binary (NB)
person. Self-representation within the queer community can be difficult as binary terms, such as
butch or femme, are still frequently used in these spaces to navigate identity and representation.
Melanie finds rigidity in these terms and finds themself relating to both and neither. The soft
sculpture, depicting a vulva, represents the assumption made over one’s gender based on their
perceived sex, therefore rendering the gender ambiguous.
Through Butch Femme, the artist aims to open a conversation amongst viewers about the gender
spectrum. The materiality of the sculpture offers an element of comfort whilst being viewed, the
artist’s intention was for this to aid in the opening of a conversation, as it is a safe space. Ultimately,
the piece is a celebration of identity and queerness.
Melanie has taken part in many group shows and has exhibited in both the Republic of Ireland and
around the UK. From working alongside the likes of supermarket giant, Aldi, to being commissioned
by local Brighton businesses, a highlight of Melanie’s artist career would be having their work
showcased in the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) as part of a Young Artists exhibition.
Melanie, along with course mates, are a part of the Acclimate Collective which was established in
2021. The Collective intends on continuing to showcase artworks as well as collaborate on projects
together. Upon the completion of their degree, Melanie plans to continue making pieces and
exhibiting in Brighton and London. Melanie aims to secure a set or prop designer role using skills
that they have learned from the course.