Originally from British Columbia, Canada, Melanie Daniel immigrated to Israel in 1995. This dual perspective formed the basis for previous series about both the stressful environment of Israel and the dense historically charged landscape of her native Canada. Her newest series, “Lotus Eaters”, marks a philosophical shift within Daniel's oeuvre, with a retreat from her previously taut and politically charged milieu into a more languorous hallucinatory landscape. Here, Daniel encodes anxiety based on the turmoil of the Middle East with an increasingly subversive painterly language, the works yielding to a latent content of eerie unease only upon closer inspection. Narratives remain unwritten, and nuclear halos and neon glows subsume the menace of constant conflict, where the individual is absorbed or almost nullified. Influenced by the idiosyncratic narratives of Peter Doig, the impending doom found in Daniel Richter's work, and arch-Canadian painters such as Tom Thompson, Daniel's works expose the hope of escaping back to nature or a hard-won peace as impossible ideals. Every moment carries an aftershock, every place fails to provide refuge from the threat.
After studies in Canada, Melanie Daniel completed her BFA and MFA at Bezalel Academy, Israel. Daniel has had numerous exhibitions in Israel and abroad, including solo exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv, Kelowna Art Gallery, BC, and Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, among others. Her work is included in collections such as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Harvard Business School, and the Brandes Family Art Collection. Daniel's 2012 video piece, "Busted" received extensive press including CBC/Radio Canada, and additional press includes Newsweek, Frieze, Haaretz, Artsy, Beautiful Decay, and the Artists Magazine. Daniel is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, the 2009 Rappaport Prize for a Young Israeli Painter, a Creative Capital Grant, and the NARS Foundation Residency in New York City.