Light, bright and incredibly inviting, Madeleine's family home is filled with an abundance of colourful art, rustic furniture and unique pieces from local makers. Step inside for a colourful Sunday tour.
1. Hi Madeleine, thank you so much for welcoming us inside your gorgeous Melbourne home. We are massive fans of your incredible work, but for those who haven’t heard of you can you please introduce yourself?
Hello! I’m a Melbourne artist, left-handed, often wearing plaits and definitely a day dreamer. I studied architectural ceramics at university, but I was always drawn to surface decoration and texture which eventually led me to pursue painting and illustration. I’m also an art teacher specialising in Early Years art. I live with my partner, Karl and two gorgeous teens, two cats and a scruffy little terrier who keeps me on my toes. I’m a lover of the natural world and often include birds or flowers in my art. I’m passionate about colour, texture and pattern.
2. You are a magician when it comes to creating - unmistakeable artwork, unique ceramics and beautiful illustrations are just a few of your many talents. What has your creative journey been like to date?
My creative journey has gone hand in hand with teaching and embracing my inner child. The honesty and spontaneity of children’s art has always been a huge inspiration. Whether I’m working with clay or painting on canvas I’m always trying to make sense of life through my image making. There are so many challenges to being an artist, but I try to stay true to myself and always embrace opportunities whether it’s done collaboratively or being inventive. Slowing down, being attentive and celebrating the world around me is a source of joy that I am learning to tap into as I age. I really try not to overthink it too much, otherwise it drains my tank.
3. Your work is heavily inspired by folk art, nature, old school tattoos and the 70’s. Where did this inspiration stem from and why does it spark your creativity?
As a child of the 70’s I practically lived in nature wearing textured cord pants, desert boots and homespun jumpers, slept in a room adorned with vivid floral wallpaper and ate at the dinner table covered in a tablecloth that boasted bold graphics. My dad was a nature buff, so we were surrounded by a menagerie of animals. My older siblings introduced me to music that became the soundtrack to my youth. My mum was a tapestry artist generating a constant flow of sporadic rainbow coloured wool fibres that sprinkled the sofa and eventually migrated onto our clothes and eventually into our hair. All these elements have a way of creeping into my art, making it sentimentally familiar and laden with symbolism.
4. Just as we imagined, your home is filled with an abundance of colourful art, rustic furniture and unique pieces from local makers. Why do you love using colour and texture in your space and how does it make you feel?
I’m like a little bower bird with an insatiable impulse to collect colourful, textural and patterned objects, especially soulful roadside treasures which I love curating with care and attention. I adore being surrounded by my children’s art, it’s an important visual language and a constant source of wonderment. I’ve saved and collected many things over time, especially from my childhood which I display around the home, it’s a cheery melange of new and old. My husband Karl has an awesome collection of old trinkets that also adorn our walls and shelves. Over the years we’ve prioritised surrounding ourselves with art made by friends and family, those choices have been driven by works that we’ve fallen in love with and we are intrinsically moved by. I love how a dialogue develops between the art, furnishings and architecture of your home. It’s an important relationship that brings so much comfort. It’s ever changing and never stagnant.
5. You recently moved into a little studio down the road from you in Gardenvale, what’s next on the cards creatively for you?
This has been a giant step for Karl and me. We are finally working and creating under the one roof. I assist Karl during the week with his fine art printing business then I have an easy stroll down the hall to my studio. I’m revelling in the opportunity to create art in a larger, brighter space, bring the dog to work, mingle with clients and rotate art around in our little window space which we’ve named ‘Look Look’ gallery. I’m excited to host the occasional special event, teach classes and welcome the community into this special space.