Madeleine Martin is a young contemporary artist currently living and working in Peoria, IL after impulsively moving to the area from St. Louis in 2020. Growing up in Edwardsville, IL helped prompt her deep love of all things artistic. While attending Edwardsville South, an alternative high school, she bonded with numerous art instructors that encouraged her to fill her schedule with a variety of art classes. This opened her mind to the copious possibilities of mediums and forms of expression that exist in the art world. While attending Lewis and Clark Community College and nearing the completion of her AFA she was drawn to Peoria for a visit. Just one short month later she decided to uproot her life in order to attend Bradley University, where she will graduate with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in May of 2023. Although she has a concentration in painting she received the 2022 Kotteman Scholarship for her dedication to sculpture. Moving in the midst of the pandemic had a major impact on the way she views her relationships with the people around her and the space that she occupies.
Moving to a new city in the midst of a major pandemic greatly influenced myself as not only a person but also as an artist. As a painter first and foremost, a majority of my work became involved with capturing either real or invented interiors, which informed my future work in sculpting dollhouses. As my body of work developed I became much more interested in relationships between people and their environment. I believe the connection that a person has to the places they choose to spend their time is intimate and personal. A location or room can be as friendly and familiar as a close companion. As well as this, the processes I went through in order to create my works became much more intimate and personal. Many of my materials are secondhand or something that I have held onto until I found the perfect use for it. I sift through my own photos in order to find references for my work. These moments that I capture in photos have gained sentimental value as time passes on, making these photos a whimsical and nostalgic token of the past. I enjoy exploring my relationship with the various versions of myself that have existed. In a sense, creating these paintings allows me to freely express my grief for all of the past versions of myself while also eagerly awaiting to see what lies ahead. Some of my reference photos are old enough to include people I no longer talk to. These paintings immortalize the platonic intimacy of past friendships and encourage the viewers to contemplate what it means to have closeness in any given relationship.
In addition to this, I like to investigate how these past versions of myself have informed who I am today. As an artist I am attempting to abandon my role as a stereotypical woman and recapture the childlike wonder I feel as though I have been robbed of my whole life. As a feminine presenting person I feel as though I have become both an intensely targeted consumer as well as something to be consumed by society. It feels as though there are never ending contradictions of what it means to be a woman. My work ponders the conflicting views that media has on women and how this constant societal scrutinization leads a lot of women’s actions to be viewed as superficial or performative, as well as how it has affected my own view of myself over time.