Dawn Mellor

Dawn Mellor is an artist that explores the conflict between pain and passion. Her works touch on the idea of how as a society we consume in excess. Mellor relates this idea to online trolls. Dawn Mellors  main body of work has been extracted to create a style. Mellor paints celebrities in a way that is distorted which links to her focus point of trolling but also links to an idea of hierarchy and how she can decide who gets excluded. This point works in relation to the idea of consumer need and how even though the paintings portray the celebrities in a bad light they want to be painted as they want to be noticed and consumed  in the public light. This outcome relates to Mellor on a personal level and her relationship to the market. Mellor intends a narrative to emerge between the paintings however her narrative changes on what’s trendy which enables her work to sell.


The series “What happened to Helen” can be seen as a celebration of local culture or a critique of the standards of local culture. The series plays on Mellor’s personal life. In particular, her working class roots that are used to influence the media’s perception of her. The series uses Helen Mirren as a focal point. I began to analyse this piece in particular. The aggressive pull on the tie and the positioning of it has relation to suicide possibly linking to the idea of the extremes of fame. The Aggressive pull could also relate to the idea of the tie to fame, and the idea of being molded and processed into an individual/ object that is built and designed to satisfy the public.


The tie in the painting whilst gripped at the hands has similarities to the object diamonds. Paired with the colour blue, this could be an indication to the regal colour blue and the relation it has to being an iconic part of Britain as it represents the royal family. Mellor has blinded Mirren, it appears to be goggles that have been placed over her eyes. This relates to the possible idea of blinkers, and the idea that she has been guided in such a way to block out everything and do what is expected of stereotypical “celebrity life.”


Mellor relates her series “what happened to Helen” to fantasies of murder and even heightened sexual frustration. The pieces themselves are a raw representation of celebrity life in relation to trolls. The pieces raise the question of what life is when its controlled? Whilst also highlighting  the link between exploitation and consumerism. The celebrities themselves are made into icons that are co ordinated for our gain. The media places them on pedestals that they never want to leave which links to dawn Mellor’s own narrative and how she makes artwork with an attempt to make a resistance to individualism similar to the motive of the media.dawn-mellor-helen-mirren-focal-point-gallery-11


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