Melissa Hill is an American artist/designer living and working in the rural English countryside, specialising in commercial surface pattern design and hand lettering. She divides her time between her Kentish garden studio and the galleries and museums of London.
Melissa originally trained as an economist, earning a BA in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Following the birth of her children, she began working in product design, eventually founding the company Stone Bridge which specialised in luxury French handmade hair accessories manufactured in cellulose acetate. Melissa’s products have appeared internationally in television and film and developed a cult following of collectors amongst stylists.
She also holds a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design from The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design in London, and has professional experience in publishing and print direct marketing as a designer and copywriter.
Classical Chinese embroidery and medieval manuscripts inspire her work, with a particular interest in line, with additional influence arising from the work and ideas of modern English designers such as Eric Ravilious, Lucienne Day, Christopher Brown and Jonny Hannah.
Melissa’s current personal work explores themes of social interaction, ethnic identity, and the physicality of the human body. Recent works include Ten Kingdoms, a deck of playing cards inspired by Chinese imperial portraits that examines narratives of social power, and Rohingya Toile de Jouy, a wallpaper subverting the bucolic themes from the classic Toile de Jouy tradition with handdrawn illustrations depicting present day Rohingya refugee camps at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. A new project called Reading Room is an interactive installation of eccentric, oversized pieces of upholstered furniture shaped to the postures people adopt when absorbed in reading.
Ten Kingdoms exhibited at PLAY!, a group exhibition at the Kaleidoscope Gallery in Sevenoaks, Kent. 11 December, 2017 until 13 January, 2018.
Rohingya Toile de Jouy exhibits at the Open Exhibition at the Kaleidoscope Gallery in Sevenoaks, Kent. Curated by Rebecca Fairman of London contemporary art gallery ARTHOUSE1. 7 February until 3 March, 2018.
From 2018, Melissa will be showing at The Blueprint Show in New York with original new commercial work available for license. Please do get in touch for licensing enquiries by email in the first instance.