I use birds to tell my life story. The animals that I incorporate into my work represent family relationships and everlasting trauma that has been imprinted on me throughout my life. Growing up in southern Colorado, I have always been surrounded by nature and it has influenced my relationship with the environment near me. My siblings and I had a lot of freedom growing up, and we often would opt to play outside as much as we could. Being encouraged to engage with nature as a young child has influenced how I perceive nature and the by extension with familiar relationships.
During the beginning of 2020, I spent what felt like endless days at home with my family. I felt no motivation to make art and was trapped at home with my family. In order to stay sane, I began to make sketches and markings in my sketchbook, which led me to focus on the animals in my work. Birds began to show up in my work, fighting, fending, and interacting with each other. Each animal that I observed carried its own story and history. I reflected on my experience growing up and the stories and events that have shaped my relationships with family members. While I was drawing I began to see a connection between the birds that I have drawn and my family relationships. I wanted to meld these two worlds into one cohesive story, and since then I have been using them to represent my family dynamics. Through the use of metaphors, I found the strength to talk about these personal stories.
Using metaphors has been encouraging to me to not be scared to talk about these personal stories. I can revolve as much information as I want in my work and they might just see the animals and not question their significance. and not realize a metaphor is being employed. Birds are powerful, yet fragile at the same time. They can be represented in many ways, and tell many stories.
Madeline is a printmaker and visual artist from Durango, Colorado that is currently a BFA candidate in Printmaking at the University of Colorado. Madeline will be joining the MFA program in printmaking at the Univerisity of Alberta, Canada to begin her MFA candidacy, fall 2022. She has organized the print exchange “Home: A Sense of Place” that has been shown at the University of Colorado Boulder as well as the University of Wyoming Laramie. She has been in a number of portfolio exchanges domestically and internationally. Madeline has been in exhibitions all across the nation such as the Viral Influence Group Show at the Arvada Center For The Arts, Arvada, CO, Press Forward National Student Printmaking Exhibition, BOX 13 Gallery, Houston, TX, and Poco a Poco, Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery & Workshop, Tucson, AZ to name a few. Madeline has won best in show for National Juried Printmaking Exhibition: Aspiring Artist Debut, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Carmichael, CA as well as the In The Art Gallery’s 2nd Annual Printmaking Exhibition and will be exhibiting a solo exhibition in summer 2022.
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