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Madeleine Cruise

Artist Studio

Property Donor: Ms Jane Chidgey

Launched: 22 Feb 2013

Closed: 6 Nov 2013

about Madeleine Cruise

My name is Madeleine Cruise and I am an interdisciplinary artist who studied at the National Art School Sydney. I have recently relocated to Newcastle and am intent on furthering my artistic practice.

In my work I explore real and imaginary worlds using a colourful abstract language. I am interested in the collision between different states of being: memories and recollections with present experiences and imaginary thoughts. I am often caught drifting into space with my eyes glazing over as a shimmering chocolate wrapper on the pavement pulls my attention into another world. ‘What is going on in that head of yours?’ is a common question.

I often draw in outdoor urban spaces and am an avid collector of discarded materials. These interactions with the everyday form the basis for my imagination to run wild and I will generate large scale paintings and sculptures that are extensions of the real.

I like to describe my work as ‘triggers’ where a graphic print or potent colour in my abstract painting encourages other people to attach their own memory or disappear into a thought of their own. There is an antagonistic duality to my work that is both objective and expressive, whereby the potential seriousness of formal abstraction is kept in check by a persistent playfulness with materials and paint gesture. By maintaining this tension the work is provocative and fun and above all reinvigorate an awareness of the world.

I was motivated to become in involved with Renew Newcastle as a means to secure a work space outside of the home, somewhere personal and devoted entirely to my professional practice. I was also enthusiastic to become more active in my community and interact with other artists. Ironically I am becoming acquainted with the business sector of Newcastle, as I frequent my studio that is located in the business district.

The building itself is an unusual expression of the commercial world, with a residue of efficiency in the elevator and ramps. I don’t quite feel like I am entering an art studio until I get to my ‘office’ and find fabric and pens sprawled all over the fire proof carpet. I like that being involved in Renew Newcastle has exposed me to another side of Newcastle and I like to imagine that the contrast of my surroundings will inspire a ‘counter attack’ of frivolity and self expression.

I am currently working on a new collection of textile works that will form part of a mid year exhibition at The Lock-Up Cultural Centre in Newcastle. I am generating an imaginative series of sculptures that are suggestively monster like. My research for this project is based on the abandoned spaces in Newcastle and my desire to animate them with imaginary creatures. As I sew provocative and tactile work I am creating an alternate story to the quiet melancholia of Newcastle and activating the energy of the city.