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 


Quite Suddenly Your Smile is an Architecture

An environment and event in a 2nd hand bookshop presenting the poetry and publishing projects of Jeff Nuttall, an artist who grew up in nearby Herefordshire. Nuttall’s self-published series My Own Mag was ‘a paper exhibition in words, pages, spaces, holes, edges and images’ and was exhibited with other publications in a structure borrowed from the plan of Bruce Lacey and Jeff Nuttall’s STigma environment, Better Books, London 1965.

Location: Broadleaf Books, Abergavenny 
Research: Henry Moore Institute Visiting Fellowship
Thanks: Jill Richards, Islwyn Watkins
Date: 2016
environment, exhibition and event