Madeline Kidd · Painted Gardens

Lucy Feagins
Lucy Feagins
7th of July 2014
Artist Madeline Kidd in her Melbourne studio.  Photo - Eve Wilson.
MKidd-Flower painting with beige background, 2012, oil on canvas, 56 x 72cm
'Flower painting with beige background', 2012, oil on canvas by Madeline Kidd.
Painting and Sculptures in the Melbourne studio of Madeline Kidd. Photo - Eve Wilson.
Details from the studio of Madeline Kidd. Photo - Eve Wilson.
Sculpture by Madeline Kidd. Photo - Eve Wilson.
Madeline at work. Photo - Eve Wilson.
Oh man.  Sometimes I think we're across every artist / designer / clever creative making amazing work in Melbourne, and then other times some amazing talent pops up on our radar from nowhere and I'm like 'WOAH, how did I not know about you already!?'.  Needless to say, we're always THRILLED when this happens. It is endlessly inspiring to be reminded that there is always more to uncover! Melbourne artist Madeline Kidd is one recent such discovery.  WHAT incredible work!  It really stopped us in our tracks.  Such an incredible use of vivid colour!  Such meticulous linework!  And a varied practice which incorporates both oils on canvas, and painted timber sculptures. Madeline grew up in Tasmania, the youngest of three sisters. 'Out of the three of us, two went to art school and one to film school, so I guess it seemed like the normal thing to do at the time' Madeline recalls.  Whilst her sisters attended the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Madeline studied painting at the Canberra School of Art, which she recalls had a far more 'traditional' curriculum than the VCA.  'We did things like painting 'en plein air', still life, letterpress, etching, and what seemed like hours and hours of life drawing' says Madeline. With a varied creative skillset under her belt, after graduating, Madeline moved to Melbourne. Madeline has always been drawn to crisp, graphic compositions and bold colour.  Lately, though, she has started thinking about her work in a new context, as theatrical set pieces or 'costume sculpture'. This new approach is described by Madeline as kind of 'anti expressive'. 'I decided a while ago I hated brush marks - I’m not going to be squeezing tubes of oil paint onto the canvas anytime soon' she says, instead adopting a flat, impossibly precise painting style, as is evident in the works seen here. This week Madeline's latest body of work will be on show at Daine Singer Gallery in Melbourne.  Entitled Painted Gardens, the exhibition is a progression from her last show, Decor8, at Craft Victoria, which reflected an ongoing preoccupation with interior design. 'Currently my apartment has been filling up with house plants, this might have something to do with Painted Gardens?' she ponders. 'Apparently they are good for your sense of well being – although I’m not sure if paintings of gardens have the same effect?' It's going to be a busy couple of months' for Madeline. After Painted Gardens, later this month she is participating in a show called Depthless Flatness, above the Alderman in Lygon st, Brunswick East.  Next month she will also participate in a satellite exhibition for the Melbourne Art Fair at Aesop on Collins Street, entitled The Sketches of Rain, curated by Theodore Wohng.  Finally, Madeline will also be exhibiting with Daine Singer Gallery at Spring1883, which in a new art event at the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne. WOAH!  I always forget how excellent winter is, such a great arty time of year in Melbourne. Rug up, get out there and see some art, people! Painted Gardens by Madeline Kidd July 9th to August 2nd 2014 Daine Singer Basement 325 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC MKidd-Four views, 2013, oil on canvas, 61 x 76cm
'Four views', 2013, oil on canvas by Madeline Kidd.
Details from the studio of Madeline Kidd. Photo - Eve Wilson.
Details from the studio of Madeline Kidd. Photo - Eve Wilson.

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