Melissa Pauw was born in 1978 in Orangeville, Ontario Canada. An interdisciplinary artist who works in video, performance and photography, her work explores issues of love, desire, alienation, invisibility, and the insufficiency of communication technologies.
Her most recent work attempts to establish points of contact between individuals who are strangers. Through intervening into public space and attempting to communicate via micro-gestures, quiet declarations and random acts of kindness, she critically investigates the affect that these actions have on others. Focusing on contexts inside and outside of the gallery space, her work involves both passers-by and gallery viewers, pointing to the often awkward and uncomfortable results of interacting with other people. By creating moments of vulnerability and intimacy, her practice is continually mediated
by interactions and relationships with others.
Melissa is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of British Columbia and received her BA in Studio Art and Art History from the University of Guelph. Recipient of the B.C. Binning Memorial Fellowship in 2003, her work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States and Spain. Group exhibitions include: This is uncomfortable at Gallery TPW (Toronto), wish at the Centre on Contemporary Art (Seattle, WA), Looking through a glass at Access Artist Run Centre (Vancouver, BC). She has also participated in numerous screenings, festivals and events: Nuit Blanche (Toronto, 2009) the Images
Festival (Toronto), eBent International Festival of Performance (Barcelona, Spain). Melissa has held teaching positions at the University of British Columbia, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.