Mel Elston-Mendones’ is a multi-disciplinary artist. As well as his main passion of painting, he has also worked in jewellery, fashion, sculpture and graphic design. His painted works have been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Zurich, Venice, Monaco and Amsterdam, as well as in London, Surrey, Sussex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. It has also been featured in publications in London, Brussels and Madrid. He has won international awards for his paintings.
Mel paints through feeling rather than visually, working directly on to canvass with no preliminary sketches. This gives his work a visceral quality, which can be both uncomfortable as well as deeply moving and beautiful. His work straddles the line between abstract and representational, having a range of different visual styles, while maintaining a unified language of colour, line, texture and naivety, which make it both unique and recognisable.
His Filipino parents met in London, having both moved from the Philippines from different family backgrounds in the early 1970s. His ancestry includes Filipino, Spanish, Mexican and Native American.
Throughout his life Mel has both struggled with and celebrated his multi-cultural identity – Filipino, British, Latino, Mexican, Spanish, exile, economic migrant, Roman Catholic, protestant. His work explores the joys and difficulties of living with this complex mix of, often clashing and unbalanced, influences. These struggles and lack of balance have led to problems with both his physical and mental health, which also inform his work.
Mel was born in West London in 1977 and currently lives and works in West Sussex. He graduated with a Batchelor of Arts with Honours, in Design Studies. Mel was a shortlisted finalist with the Royal Society of Arts in 2002.
2002 Royal Society of Arts finalist
2022 Bruxelles Vue, best abstract, summer exhibition
2022 Kira Art Gallery, best intermixture
Letchworth, Hertfordshire (Solo)
Royal College of Art, London (Art for Youth)
Sutton House, London (Solo)
Worthing, West Sussex Arundel, West Sussex (A1 Gallery)
Chichester, West Sussex
Brighton, East Sussex (A1 Gallery
Esher, Surrey (A1 Gallery)
Worthing, West Sussex
Monaco (Expo Metro)
Hackney, London (Holy Art Gallery, virtual exhibition)
California, USA (Las Lagunas Gallery)
Amsterdam (April, Lelie Galrij)
Zurich (April, Urbanside Gallery)
Venice (May, Biennale Artbox Expo)
Los Angeles (June, Expo Metro)
New York (June, Artists’ Talk Magazine)
Kensington (July, Parallax Art Fair)
Worthing (August, Colonnade House)
London (November, Mall Galleries)
Madrid (December, Santana Gallery)
2021 Artists’ Talk Magazine, London
2021 Bruxelles Art Vue, Brussels
2021 Antología de Arte III Madrid
British? Filipino? Asian? Latino? Hispanic? Spanish? I am all of these and none. I represent diaspora and liminal peoples.
I create art from my life story. The current art is inspired by my multicultural heritage and I am looking at the effects of diaspora. What does it feel like as a person of the diaspora. Where are you from?