NOW Gallery

Like a Melody: Myths, Memories, and Fantasy Charlotte Mei

NOW Gallery is thrilled to present Like a Melody: Myths, Memories, and Fantasy by rising artist and illustrator Charlotte Mei. Open to the public between 29th March – 2nd June 2024, Like a Melody will see Charlotte Mei transform NOW Gallery into an otherworldly realm through paintings, giant figurines and sculptures of ancient artefacts from a parallel universe. Drawing heavily from the worlds of fantasy, mythology and anime, Mei explores the power of escapism as a means of processing the challenges that life throws our way whilst exploring our own selfhood and identity.

In Like a Melody, Mei invites visitors to become the main characters of her ethereal world and go on their own hero’s journey, uncovering their sense of purpose and meaning in the world around them. Large-scale, multi-canvas paintings in Mei’s signature expressive, pastoral style will create an expansive backdrop that absorb the viewer, whilst larger-than-life action figurines will nod to the dolls and toys that many of us loved and projected onto as children when we wanted to access bravery, strength and adventure.

Displayed in cases will be ‘excavated’ artefacts such as chainmail underwear, which plays with notions of defence, armour, femininity, and softness, and subverts the historically male dominated iconography of the fantasy genre, reimagining it through a feminine lens. As a female, British-Chinese artist and lifelong fan of fantasy, Mei grew up with stories whose protagonists were predominantly male and Eurocentric. Like a Melody is her retelling of the fantasy narrative in a way that is representative of her own cultural background.

NOW Gallery and Greenwich Peninsula curator Kaia Charles says, “NOW Gallery is thrilled to present Mei’s fantastical universe. We hope it inspires the viewer to explore the artist’s unique creative voice and build their own modern-day fairytale.”

Charlotte Mei is an artist and illustrator based in London. Like a Melody follows the success of Mei’s painted comic, Pipette and Dudley’s Charming Dog Adventure, and a 40-page Lord Of The Rings magazine featuring paintings, drawings and features inspired by Tolkein’s creation, released with fellow illustrator Chris Harnan. Her hugely popular illustrations have been commissioned by brands such as Hermès, Nike, Rimowa, Lulu Guinness, Beams Japan and The New York Times, and her artworks have been exhibited in London, Hong Kong, Berlin, Tokyo and more.

With thanks to supporting makers and fabricators: Calum Bowen, Fred Thomson, Brydie Perkins, Mike Smith Studio, Christopher Kelly, Marc Morrow, Puck Studio and Interesting Projects.

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