Mel Kilby is a Shoalhaven based artist who has only been on the art scene for the past two years, due to juggling single parenting and her career in the Royal Australian Navy. Mel was initially inspired back into the creative space by her eldest daughter who has developed a natural talent and passion for Munga style character drawings. Mel’s earlier works were intricate in design using black fine tip markers and Zen tangle style patterns to create abstract work. This morphed then into using these patterns to create landscape black and whites. The time to create each work varying from four to nine months, then led Mel to explore acrylic pouring, due to restrictions in available time to create. After six months of exploration and experimentation with acrylic pouring, Mel started to produce works that people were wanting to purchase. Inspiration for these was still around capturing patterns, depth and texture to create abstract works. Photography also became a tool that enabled Mel to capture her world of patterns and textures with her recent abstract photograph ‘Shadow’ receiving highly commended by the judges, including artist Ben Quilty, for the Inaugural Napier Waller Art Prize held by the Australian War Memorial. Mel was also awarded the Sydney Mason Memorial Award at the recent Shoalhaven Art Society Open Exhibition with her artwork ‘Flame Trees’. Having served on a Royal Australian Navy Frigate in 1999 during a Gulf tour, Mel was able to use this service and experience to create this artwork of HMAS Newcastle on her recent Gulf tour.