Madeline Bartley was born in Louisville, Kentucky and attended Murray State University where she received her B.F.A. in 2012 for printmaking and drawing. She earned her M.F.A. in studio arts from Syracuse University’s College of Visual Performing Arts in 2016. A recipient of Quilting By the Lake Scholarship and the Turner Residency in Los Angeles, CA., she is featured in Syracuse Women’s Magazine, printresting.org, and Boxcar Press Blog: The Inquisitive Printer. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows including exhibitions at the Hand Held Gallery (Melbourne, Australia), Walnut Ink Projects (Michigan City, IN), The Rogue Space (New York, NY), and the Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA). Currently she lives in Buffalo, New York where she dedicates her free time to her studio practice at the Buffalo Arts Studio.
My mantra through these past few years is to practice making slow adjustments in reaction to dramatic changes. I address concepts of vulnerability, exploration and the need for maintenance. I walk on a path with an unclear trajectory— my focus is to create as I find.
My imagery weaves together a concern for strength and vulnerability in a garden setting. By producing one-of-a-kind prints using screen printing and stencils, I create assortments of random compositions and saturated colors. The layers I add to the printed backdrops with watercolor, collage or a color pencil drawing give clarity to the image. As overlays of color build up, vibrant watercolor pigments create a looming dramatic effect. I blend realistic imagery on top of a flat abstracted or atmospheric space in my works on paper to depict fragments of experiences and dreams. Often, I accompany embellishments like botanical detritus or fiber drawings to the work and incorporate symbolic images such as arches and portals, garden arbors, and other botanicals.
Tracing over detailed illustrations allows me to reflect on events and their lasting emotional effect. Even though structures may begin strong, its foundation inevitably weakens over time. Ultimately, this body of work is about a relationship with maintenance within a landscape that prohibits the possibility of permanence.