Mel Latimer

Fine Art


instagram: @mellatimerart

[email protected]

“We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed
must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images.
Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of
home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we
are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps
nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost” – Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Inspired by research for my dissertation Protected Intimacy: Safe Spaces to Dream, Explore, and Discover, my practice is currently a multifaceted consideration of intimacy, memory, and found objects through
assemblage and mixed media.

My practice’s original cornerstone was, and in many ways still is, memory. Its initial use in my work was to make sense of my own cross-generational experience of memory, but now explores memory associations in a broader, more universal context. This, paired with my interest in found objects, lends to the type of intimacy I have begun to explore; inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s descriptions of intimacy in The Poetics of Space, it is not the type of intimacy that is shared with another person, but rather the kind that
is experienced within the protected space of our perception. In this regard, my work has become heavily rooted in the nature of being, and apart from titles, pieces are initially left open to the viewer to make their own associations.

Through a series of photos I’ve taken I’m also exploring what I consider to be “transitory/transitional spaces”; spaces I travel through from one point of refuge or shelter to another that are open and vulnerable, without the protective nature of four walls. These photos morphed into noir dream sequence videos that have made their way into my installations, such as Safe Transitory Spaces to Dream, and have become relevant to the notion of protected intimacy in my work through juxtaposition. Surveying a concept
by contrast has become a large part of my practice – here with a wooden frame that might be commonplace in a safe intimate space that is being encroached upon by shadows of branches, and a video playing within it of images taken from outdoors.

My most recent installation, Protected Intimacy, welcomes viewers to interact, rummage, and explore in an oneirically ambiguous space with intimate nooks and corners once inhabited before our time, creating the atmosphere suggesting that their original occupants may even still be present in some way. Influenced by artist Joseph Cornell and philosopher and phenomenologist Gaston Bachelard, this is my immersive interpretation of the similarities between their imaginings, woven from Cornell’s basement studio and Bachelard’s notions of the childhood home in The Poetics of Space.

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Mel Latimer, Protected Intimacy, Mixed Media Installation, 2023
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Dissertation - Protected Intimacy: Safe Spaces to Dream, Explore, and Discover by Mel Latimer
View pdf
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Protected Intimacy - Right Side of Room, Mixed Media Installation, 2023
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Protected Intimacy - Left Side of Room, Mixed Media Installation, 2023
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Protected Intimacy - Detail Photo of Frame Space and Television, Mixed Media Installation, 2023
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Protected Intimacy -Detail Photo of Film and Cupboard , Mixed Media Installation, 2023
Mel Latimer | Fine Art
Protected Intimacy - Detail Photo of Window and Fireplace, Mixed Media Installation, 2023
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