Mel Galley

Studied in Manchester

Living in the Lakes



Growing from an early (and on-going) love of science-fiction and anti-/utopian literature in my practice I construct imagined landscapes using CAD and CGI rendering. I see these un-real spaces as modes of analysing research. Building them allows for different ideas and sources to be combined, offering a new point of entry into the existing works. 

I approach research as a broad and creative process. It could as much be walking, conversations, poetry and views as secondary sources such as essays, films and books. Sci-fi as a genre openly encourages curiosity, often asking relevant yet philosophical questions of the audience. I take this approach within my own work. The spaces I build grow freely in response to the materials I make or encounter, each a point of entry into a growing body of enquiry on our relationship to the landscapes we inhabit.

I am led by questions; how do we imagine places of the future? how do we understand ourselves in relation to landscape? how can memories, emotions or feeling be pictured as place? and what part can CGI have in that? how can I approach building these digital spaces so that it's fluid, reflective, painterly? how can we approach written research in different mediums? how do we research? and what can be research? how many times can I casually bring up Zamyatin's 'We' in conversation without the other person walking away? what questions can I ask to grow these landscapes? how can they be used to articulate our hopes and fears for future landscapes?

Currently based in Dublin, Ireland, I grew up between the Dales and Cumbria in the Britain. The relationship to these rural landscapes and the way they kind heavy industry or military activity behind motifs of wilderness, has heavily influenced my practice. I attended art school at Leeds College of Art and Manchester School of Art, and in the past two years I was awarded Young Cumbrian Artist of the Year and 2nd Prize, Practitioner Category, at the RIBA Eye Line competition. Alongside showing work across the UK I have been on residency in Manchester, Penrith, Barrow-in-Furness and Velez-Blanco.

Artist Statement

Group Shows, Residencies & Presentations_

Sep 21 _ Conference Speaker _ RAPS, Bristol

Speaker at Radical Architecture for Sustainable Practice

Aug 21 _ Contributing Artist _ Folded Zine

Participated in Issue 3 of Folded Zine, responding to the theme of 'Space and Landscape'

Aug 21 _ Artist in Residence _ Pink Manchester

Creation of a collaboration project and research residency at Pink, an arts space for curatorial research.

July 21 _ Commissioned Artist _ Our World, Ulverston Coronation Hall

Creation of an installation based on the Furness landscape.

July 21 _ 2nd Place Winner _ Eye Line Competition, RIBA Journal

'The Snows are melting, the snows are gone' featured as a shortlisted piece, and 'How do I stand tall?' was awarded second place.

June 21 _ Contributing Artist _ Lune Journal

Featured in contemporary Place journal, included both writing and imagery

May 21 _ Visiting Speaker _ P3 Programme, MMU

Delivered hour long talk on research as creative practice 

May 21 _ Contributing Artist _ Folded Zine

Artist as part of group digital zine responding to the theme of 'Identity', based in Kendal, Cumbria.

Feb 21 _ Artist in Residence _ Eden Arts, Penrith

AiR as part of Spare Room programme for two weeks, developing the concept of imagined places.

Jan 21 _ Visiting Speaker _ Leeds Arts University

Invited speaker to discuss Professional Practice as part of panel.

Dec 20 _ Talking Heads _ Leeds Arts University

Invited video speaker to talk to third years design students on Professional Practice.

Nov 2020 _ Chain Mail _ Corridor 8
Invited writer for the North West with Katy Morrison & editor James Schofield

Aug 2020 _ ‘Off-Centre’ _ Pink MCR
Invited artist to contribute to digital group publication

Feb 2020 _ Young Cumbrian Artist of the Year _ Carlisle Institute of Art

Winner of Young Cumbrian Artist of the Year and invited to complete a residency with Eden Arts in 2021

Nov 2019 _ ‘The words that precede my mouth’ _ Soft Spot
Slow hung group show growing from conversations within the space on collaboration, writing, language and diagrams

Oct 2019 _ ‘MANUSCRIPT’ _ Manchester Art Fair
Curator and artist of the MANUSCRIPT stand, focusing on printed matter emerging from the Manchester School of Art

July 2019 _ Degree Show _ Manchester School of Art

March 2019 _ ‘Matters of Procedure’ _ Curated by Katy Morrison

Participating artist in week-long curatorial project, culminating in a show at the Side Gallery, first introduction to the concept of a ‘slow hang’ and how these discussions can benefit both the artists and the work

March 2019 _ Young Cumbrian Artist of the Year _ Carlisle Institute of Art Shortlisted Artist

Nov 2018 _ Doremi Residency _ Art Gene
Group residency based in Barrow-in-Furness, culminating in a group show

May 2018 _ ‘Syste, m a complicate’ _ Vernon Park Museum

Invited artist to group exhibition on ‘writing as art’

May 2018 _ ‘Two glasses of red and an exhibition guide’ _ Deaf Institute

Participating artist in performance based group show

May 2018 _ ‘Unquiet Landscapes’ _ Plant Noma

Curator and participating artist

April 2018 _ ‘Perambulate’ _ Vertical Gallery

Participating artist

March 2018 _ ‘The Dream Committee’ _ curated by Andrew Hunt

Participating artist

Jan 2018 _ ‘Testing Ground’ _ Curated by Tom Emery

Participating artist

Publications & Digital Presence_

November 2020 / another [...] zine / independent

Launch of the first issue of a [...] z with a film fanzine focused on Eternal Beauty by Craig Roberts

Nov 2020 / Chain Mail Issue 3 / Corridor 8
Invited writer for the North West with Katy Morrison & editor James Schofield

Aug 2020 _ ‘Off-Centre’ _ Pink MCR

Invited artist to contribute to digital group publication

July 2020 / Dark Sands / BBC Radio Cumbria

Poem aired during the poetry segment on BBC Radio Cumbria as part of Upload Festival

July 2020 / Dark Sands / Louder Than The Storm

Poem featured on environmental collective website

June 2020 / Motifs of a City / Wildfell Zine

Contribution to digital zine

June 2020 / The City Builds / Wildfell Zine

Contribution to digital zine

August 2019 / 'but what happened in the summer?' / Bodleian Library Oxford

Artist book held in the collections of the Bodleian Library, Oxford

August 2019 / 'untitled' / Bodleian Library Oxford

Artist book held in the collections of the Bodleian Library, Oxford

Education & Employment_

Manchester School of Art _ Fine Art BA(Hons) _ First Class

Leeds College of Art _ Extended Diploma in Art & Design _ Distinction

Kendal College _ BTEC Diploma in Photography _ Merit

MMU English Literature Department _ Research Assistant to Dr David Cooper _ 2018

MMU Politics Department _ Research Assistant to Dr Adi Kuntsman _ 2019

Symmetry CGI _ Furniture and CGI Designer _ 2014 - Present


MSOA Outreach Team _ Assistant _ 2018 - 2019