Melissa Appleton

Melissa Appleton is a producer, curator and spatial designer based in the Welsh Borders. Melissa is currently participating in de Appel Amsterdam’s Curatorial Programme 2022.

Previously Creative Director of Peak, an arts organisation based in the the Black Mountains, Melissa worked with artists and young people to undertake ‘the gentle work of the future’* in dialogue to the complexities, languages and colonial histories of this border region.

Melissa has a background in architecture and has developed programmes where spatial interventions act as mechanisms to access alternative histories, dream states or languages. These include Writtle Calling/2EmmaToc (2012), a radio station in an Essex field, Tonight the World (2019), a collaboration with Daria Martin for Barbican Curve, London & CJM, San Francisco and Quite Suddenly Your Smile is an Architecture (2017), an itinerant exhibition of the publishing projects of poet Jeff Nuttall.

Between 2008-12 Melissa co-directed Post Works with Matthew Butcher, a collaborative architecture studio making environments for dance and live performance. She previously worked for Office for Metropolitan Architecture (NY) and as an art fabrictor for Prototype New York.

Melissa taught at the Ruskin School of Art between 2011-19 and has also taught on art and architecture courses at the Royal College of Art, The Bartlett (UCL) and Nottingham University. 

* words by Owen Griffiths 

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How to Build a Valley 

Mapping workshops, a festival of ideas, walks and an exhibition expanding the timeline of Treherbert into the deep past and future. Hosting conversations on climate, land ownership, empire and industry to imagine the potential of public public land surrounding the village. 

Location: Treherbert, Rhondda
Collaborators: Project Skyline, Peak Cymru, Owen Griffiths, Gloria Giambartolomei, Sakina Sheikh.
Date: Spring 2018 – Summer 2019 
Website: skyline.wales

Photos: Mike Erskine and Vaida Barzdaite 
festival, exhibition & workshops