|Squirm & Thrive 2015Acrylic on canvas 90x110cm|
11 - 28 February 2015
NANA contemporary art space Newcastle
When I walked into Madeleine’s Islington studio, at the back of her house looking over a garden (giant jacaranda tree with chooks beyond), Candy reminded me of a saying: first there was the word, and the word was replaced by flesh, and it never healed. With flesh, without word, the world becomes infinite, un-bound by parameters of language.
Madeleine’s fleshy landscapes are just that, open wounds, no beginning, no ending, rather suggestions of infinite manifestations, a never ending morphing of worlds. Internal organs become the landscape, become external, as intestines become mountains as fertility eggs become reservoirs. Colour is indiscriminate, purple jacaranda by pastel pink by brown by indigo. At times awkward, calmer as eyes adjust, what begins as unnatural steers now to a norm and a world where branches can be yolk.
And what of the things that live in these landscapes? They oscillate between craving the artificial and being umbilical-bound to the natural, a mental tug of war to find place and peace in a world of manufactured candy-like temptations. These temptations border beauty but before long fall to the realm of the grotesque; an overindulgence that ends in decay, a melting return to an amoebic state.
With Madeleine’s Candy we see a peeling back and reduction to the point where reality and what once was meet: is the world today, was it the Archean.