YOU may have seen Melodie Stacey’s enchanting artwork around Brighton in recent weeks. She’s been chosen as the “cover artist” for this year’s festival, meaning her work is displayed to the public in adverts and brochures all around the city.

Given that there are over 200 artists displaying at AOH, it’s quite the compliment to Melodie. It comes as no surprise that she is influenced by both the landscape and illustrations in children’s literature – her art brings to mind fairy tales and her distinctive figures are placed in slightly eerie natural surroundings.

“Most of the time my art comes from my imagination but sometimes I take inspiration from actual places,” she says. “For instance, I went to Norway last year and some of recent work has been influenced by that, with the mountains in the background. I mix together what I’ve seen and what’s in my head.”

A good example of that balance is Castle On The Hill, pictured, which was roughly inspired by Devil’s Dyke.

“I live near the South Downs,” says Melodie. “I can see them when I look out of my window, and I quite often take trips to Devil’s Dyke.” Storytelling is always at the forefront of Melodie’s mind when she sets about making a new piece, and she’s currently working on her debut children’s book.

“I trained as a painter in fine art [in Aberdeen] but even in my degree show it was always about telling stories,” she says. “I like drawing faces, and a few of them have their own names with their own story going on.” She adds adds that she is drawn to the work of children’s illustrator Judith Kerr as well as Henri Matisse and Gwen John.

There is a dreamy, otherworldly quality to much of Melodie’s art which has lead some observers to remark that her paintings are “a bit creepy”. Another word could be atmospheric. Melodie says she has met fellow artists through participating in AOH, which is important as hers can be “quite a solitary job”. Thanks to the exposure her art has already received, one suspects she’ll have a lot of company over the next month.

Melodie’s work is exhibited at Bright Moon Studio on 33 Hanover Terrace. Visit