A Swiss artist of Costa Rican descent, Melissa Pacheco splits her time between Switzerland and Cape Verde. The African archipelago is an endless source of inspiration for its colors as well as the materials found in nature, such as sand; an element which is always present in Pacheco’s work. Newspapers and tissues are also used to create various textures, as are the back of the brush or paint rollers. Her process involves slow paint application, layer by layer, over the course of several weeks or months. Pacheco regards the canvas as a breathing surface; a source of energy subject to a higher consciousness. For her, painting is akin to a shamanic ritual; caught in a trance, she goes wild; screaming, crying, as if possessed by unknown forces that guide her hand into creating the piece. She is the vessel, not the maker. When she finally attains a state of peace and lets go of the initial idea she had about the painting, the work reaches its purest form. This is why her paintings have no title. It is so that they remain uncorrupted by limiting definitions and continue to expand freely.
Pacheco exhibited in Spain, Italy, and Switzerland and her artwork was featured in House & Garden UK and World of Interiors. She spends part of the year on the Cape Verdean island of Santo Antão, where she runs a travel agency with her partner and promotes sustainable local tourism.