SPOTLIGHT: MADELEINE THORNTON-SMITH

Who says you can't have too much colour? Well they certainly haven't met this Melbourne based painter and ceramicist. Madeleine Thornton-Smith is the very embodiment of an artist, someone who has created a style that is as almost as unique as herself, while refusing to be limited to one single medium. Madeleine recently completed an Honours year of Fine Art at Monash University (2014). She previously obtained a Bachelor in Arts/Visual Arts (Monash, 2013) majoring in Creative Writing and Painting, and last year completed a Diploma of Languages (Monash, Spanish). In 2015 she also commenced a Diploma of Ceramics at Holmesglen Technical College. However certifications can only teach you so much. Her body of work depicts a gamut of whimsical colours and intricacy that could only created through dedication and perseverance. 

Madeleine is primarily interested painting, drawing, ceramics and working with found natural materials to create colourful sculptures. She has also recently begun delving into the art of screen printing. A strong interest in colour, material and the human impact on nature, as well as the imaginary world of the subconscious and the relationship landscape has with memory has inspired her to create a series of collages, abstract colour works, ceramic vessels and projections. Her attempts to create completely abstract works somehow always reflect an attraction to landscape and colour, organic flowing forms, patterned mountain ridges, dunes and valleys. 

Madeleine attempts to blur the confines of different mediums through the process of collaging materials. Originally trained as a painter she approaches ceramics in a different way to traditional potters, approaching her pottery as a ceramic 'canvas'.

Selected exhibitions include her solo show Urban Environments at Monash University’s Link Wall (2013); her solo show of abstract landscape paintings Psychedelic Landscapes at Brunswick Street Gallery (2014); Artificial World, a group show at Space 32 ARI (2014); Nature/Nurture, a solo show at Monash University’s Link Wall (2014); a projection of collages from photographs at Powelltown at LongPlay Fitzroy (alongside band Windari, 2014); the Monash University Graduate Art Shows (2013 and 2014); PAINTING/OBJECT, a solo painting and ceramics exhibition at Loop Bar (2015); a nature-inspired group show Ritual Geology at Topshelf Gallery (as part of the Craft Cubed festival); and PAINTING/POTS, a solo exhibition of painting and ceramics at Seventh gallery. At Monash University she was a board member and curator for the student gallery spaces Runt and Link Space and throughout 2014 and 2015 she was a volunteer for Craft Victoria. Originally seeking out life as a social worker, her desire to help others continues as she works with people with a disability through Scope’s “Recharge” leisure program at Box Hill Community Centre, assisting with art and craft activities.

Madeleine Thornton-Smith art journey has just begun and will continue to evolve. Her love for what she does is evident in all her work. Her career so far should serve as an example for those thinking about a career in the arts world. The journey will not be smooth sailing but in the end you might just be able to create something beautiful.

Listen to the full podcast below and get to know Madeleine.