2020 Margaret River Region Open Studios | Mel Lamanna's hauntingly beautiful works of art

The work of Dunsborough artist Mel Lamanna could be described as hauntingly beautiful, creating works of art inspired by some of the Spanish greats.

A lot of her work is about resilience and impermanence, which she said some people could take too literally and might see a Jesus or Mary or that the themes in her work were too dark.

"The work itself is like a symbolic motif that expresses something," she said.

"I am drawn a lot to Spanish art and a highlight in my journey was travelling to Spain to do a print residency over there.

"I did research about poet Federico Garca Lorca and also Goiter who is a favourite artist of mine, I basically explored lots of artists and pulled my inspiration from there.

"Federico Garca Lorca was a well known playwright, he used to hang out with Dali [a Spanish surrealist artist] he was quite renowned for his works.

"Unfortunate he was executed by Franco during the Spanish Civil War for his beliefs, because he was an artist he was dangerous, all artists were dangerous back then and he was homosexual as well.

"He was taken away and executed, they never found his grave."

Ms Lamanna said she was drawn to those kind of stories, and that Lorca used to write a lot about duende and how creativity came from loss.

"Nick Cave is another good example," she said.

"The more I explored him and the idea of duende and about creativity coming from a struggle of sorts the more I found more of these artists that I was naturally attracted to.

"They were aware of it and wrote about it in their own way."

Ms Lamanna has been involved in workshops around Western Australia to help youth build resilience and empower them to express themselves.

"I am quite driven by understanding that some people are naturally more resilient than others," she said.

"Often if you have dealt with things when you are younger you actually get quite capable of dealing with things, you have the tools to deal with it.

"A lot of kids these days don't have that, the workshops weren't run because the kids were delinquents, it was kids that were not fitting in and not building up resilience themselves.

"It is really about giving workshops to kids to empower themselves and give them a chance to express what they want to do."

You can checkout Ms Lamanna's work at her Dunsborough studio during Margaret River Region Open Studios event which runs until September 27, 2020.

This story Hauntingly beautiful works of art first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.