For Argentina-born and Ibiza-based artist Melisa Ramet, art is a form of therapy. Ahead of her new exhibition, she talks about her inspiration, women in art and why she founded ArtCollectiveIbiza.
Thanks to her artist mother, Argentina-born artist Melisa Ramet was immersed in the creative world from a young age. As an undergraduate, she became fascinated with the power of art as a therapeutic too, later moving to Mexico to study art therapy.
Melisa now combines her two passions, working as both an artist and running art therapy sessions on the island. Drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of the island, Melisa works across a wide range of different mediums, including painting, photography, collages, video and performance art. Her work focuses on radiance, strength and the movement of colour.
We spoke to Melisa about the transportive power of art, art as a cathartic tool and empowering female artists.
Art as Therapy: In Conversation with Ibiza-based artist Melisa Ramet
Tell us a little about your background.
I have always been in an artistic environment. My mother is a painter, so I grew up spending most of my time playing in her atelier and visiting exhibitions. Every weekend we would go to the countryside; I enjoyed being surrounded by the desert and mountains.
Inspired by my childhood, I went to study Fine Art at the National University of Cuyo, Argentina. I wanted to investigate the relationship between art and its effect on human beings further so went to Mexico to study art therapy.
Did you always know that you wanted to become an artist?
As a child, I was always creating something or making a mess. I was quite creative naturally and constantly inspired by things around me. I could say it was a natural choice to become an artist, but it was more than a choice, it was a way of living.
How does creating art make you feel?
Art makes me feel liberated. It’s like being on a journey full of excitement. There are moments of uncertainty and chaos, but there’s always an amazing, overriding feeling of transforming one thing into something new.
Creating can be a mindful time, during which I feel relaxed and complete. On the other hand, I can feel emptiness and this time is for great observation.
How would you describe your style of art?
Wow, that’s difficult for me to answer as I’m always questioning myself about my style. I think my style is a spontaneous expression of my imaginary vision of the inner and outer world in an energy field of representation. My work is both figurative and abstract.
I combine drawing, painting, collage, photography, performance and installation. Each medium has its own vibration. I feel different when creating spontaneously with my body in nature during a performance than when I am making a collage, for example. The fluidity of water and ink when I’m painting expresses another type of mood.
What is the relationship between art and therapy?
Art can be used as a cathartic tool or as an instrument for self-awareness or learning. Often, after I finish a piece of work, I feel completely released. This makes me think about artistic practices and how we can heal emotional blockages or connect with our past lives.
Making art is a healing process in itself. When I’m focused on painting, I feel a deep sense of clarity. I work with lots of colours, each of which has a reverberating influence on our emotions and feelings. Part of me is communicated through each artwork I make. In this way, there’s an amazing opportunity to rediscover ourselves through what we create.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from nature, East Asian calligraphy, other artists, books, the Tao and everyday life. Ibiza has inspired me so much: the rays of sunshine when they penetrate the water while I’m snorkelling; the lines and grooves in pieces of driftwood. When I hike around the island, I see huge rocks covered in orange and white fungi, which are so beautiful.
How do you want people to feel when they look at your work?
Freedom, lightness, connected to their inner world. I hope it transports them into a dream or an imaginary adventure.
You recently start ArtCollectiveIbiza which supports female artists. Please could you tell us more about how it started?
We started ArtCollectiveIbiza in summer 2020. It’s a female art collective that focuses on the experience of the art process and the voices of the women who work on the island. We bring artists working with different mediums together and provide an opportunity for locals to experience this artistic panorama.
We started this platform to create a community with a meaningful dialogue expressed through thematic group exhibitions presented online and in person.
Why do you think it’s so important to promote women in the arts?
The unfortunate truth is that women have not been treated equally in the art world. Today, we remain underrepresented and undervalued in museums, galleries and art houses. As female artists, we feel the need to connect and grow as a collective, particularly now. I believe that if we united we can create a powerful, creative, feminine energy that can transform the world with our message.
Do you have any shows coming up?
Yes, I’m preparing a private solo show on 11 December. I’m so excited because it’s a retrospective exhibition in which I will curate some of my old and new work. In our uncertain world, I think it’s a good moment to use alternative ways to show and enjoy art, being extremely creative with how we set up the space. The exhibition, held in an amazing ancient Ibicencan home, will combine ink work, collages, new paintings and a new sculpture project. I think it will be a beautiful experience.