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artist profile: anna madeleine

The work of Sydney artist Anna Madeleine would best be described as anachronistic; melding the new and old, the archaic and the modern, Madeleine’s art shows that even objects and people and places in time can be connected, even tenuously. Or,  perhaps, in ways you and I had never suspected – but Madeleine has.

How did you get started in this business?
I studied Photomedia at ANU School of art, finishing with Honours in 2007. I won awards at graduation which gave me a really good start with 2 residencies and 4 exhibitions in my first year out of art school. Since then I’ve continued with residencies at Sydney Art Space, Splendid Arts Lab (for Splendour in the Grass), a solo exhibition in Melbourne and also a collaboration with a fashion label. I’ve recently done a lot of travel after winning the Qantas Foundation Art Award which has meant I’ve been able to do some residencies and show work overseas. So it’s a bit of a snowball effect and I never stop making things and applying for anything that looks exciting.

Does ‘money’ matter? ie. Making a living off art versus the fear of “selling out”?
At the moment making money is not my main concern. I’m enjoying being an emerging artist while still studying (I’m doing a PhD), and even though I do sometimes sell my work, it’s not why I make art. I guess I’m still trying to really work out the purpose and context of my work – then I will focus on making a living off it.

Where do you live? How does it influence you?
I live in Glebe in Sydney. I moved here a year and a half ago from Canberra. I’m always influenced by where I live in terms of the people I’m around, other artists, the city, street art, music – and how it all works together – the systems and complexities of modern societies. Also the weather – we have the bluest sky in the world! After travelling to America, Canada, and Europe, I came back here and still thought Sydney was pretty high up there in my top cities (I still love visiting Canberra as well I should add).

What is the worst sound in the world?
Unnecessary smoke alarm when hungover.

What makes you laugh?
My family.

How do you feel about art in general in the modern world?
It’s really exciting how artists are using new media and cross-disciplinary practice to make extremely innovative and interactive work at the moment. New environments for expression are emerging – like online, participatory projects that really engage the audience in a different way. I’ve had an amazing opportunity to see some incredible international contemporary art recently – at the Venice Biennale, in London, New York and Paris, but also some really inspiring and unique new media music and arts festivals, where these cutting-edge, experimental works are taking shape.

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