The Queensland Art Gallery recently exhibited a retrospective of her work....where one could get up close and personal to these extraordinary artworks.
I say 'extraordinary'....but actually Madonna has a practice of using 'ordinary' materials to create her assemblages and collages.
I appreciate the way she uses everyday, found, chipped, scratched, flaky, scribbled, weathered objects to assemble her unconventional paths to beauty. The muted tones and colours in her paintings also scream emotion.
I like that concept.....finding beauty in the simple, natural, imperfect, withered, old, rusty, stained and speckled objects we use and discard every day. Not for me all that glammed up, glossy, shiny, fake perfection that is thrust upon us these days.
It's that Japanese aesthetic that I appreciate….wabi sabi....which, unknowingly, I've applied to many parts of my life for many years. Yes, give me tattered, torn, hand-painted and stained papers, a bunch of withered coffee-coloured rose buds, loose threads hanging from a linen skirt or sleeve, the deckled edges of my drawing papers, rusty sheds and their hidden rusty treasure, even a loose arrangement of lichen-covered sticks can have great charm.
Anyway, here's Madonna's unconventional beauties....I hope you like them as much as I do.
|An explosion of yellows.....deconstructed number plates....but with balance and unity.|
|Numbers....letters.... rust….scratches....an unexpected beauty.|
|A well-used painter's plank or the cosmos? It's funny you know....often when I go into an art studio I like to look at the students' marks on their desks....often you can see the most beautiful images emerge amongst the splatters.|
|To me, this assemblage says.....long hours of work creating and painting....loneliness of the long distance artist.|
|Assemblage - wooden plank tee pee….the lines, spaces and colours...balanced and magnetic.|
|Assemblage - chair, crates, planks....flaking, chipped, holey and stencilled...but intriguing.|
|Blackened teal and rust beauty.|
|These two collages, using ordinary 'found' papers, have the most subtle colour tones and contrasts.|
Sometimes, I don't really know why I like something...but I know when I do...and I really like these!
|A blackened dream trolly? Now this could be a good place to store your bad dreams!|
|Pattern with coat hangers.....extraordinary contrasting colours.....arranged in an intriguing way. What is this assemblage saying I wonder? Clothes maketh the man......I hope not!|
|"Yo".....by Madonna Staunton.|
|And lastly, a few of Madonna's paintings…..incredible colours with simplified shapes….almost abstract.|
|Little postcards....for Graham Greene and Tiny Tim (below).|
And with a nod to this inspirational Queensland artist...my collage 'parcel postcards' for Madonna.