Johnnene Maddison - Photo by James Jacobik

Johnnene Maddison – Photo by James Jacobik

Artist’s Statement

My current body of work is acrylic paint and mixed media collage. The collage elements are fragments of photos that I have taken. The photos explore texture, colour and abstract images.

My intention is to understand concepts of individuality and the experience of women as both powerful and vulnerable. Through active, almost chaotic line and brilliant colour, I confront the complexity of identity, gender and a need to re‐invent myself after 40 years as a wife and mother. This former identity no longer serves me. My current challenge is to navigate life as an artist and find my place among the female artists who have preceded me.

The making of art for me always begins with a very strong emotional response to an event, a political situation, a news story, a feminist issue or a personal experience. While completing my graduate degree at the University of Michigan I took a media course. The term “the medium is the message” was a new phrase coined by Marshall McLuhen in 1964. To me it said that choosing the right medium to carry my message was as important as the message itself. My medium has changed over the years depending on what message I wished to express. I have worked in oils, watercolours, collage, fibre art, drawing and acrylic depending on which medium best carried my message.

My previous bodies of work detailed the plight of women in Afghanistan, a personal journey through loss and the stories of working women in WWII. These issues were best portrayed respectively in watercolour, mixed media and fibre art. After many years of working my way through these serious issues, I began experimenting with exuberant colours and a more optimistic, if somewhat chaotic view of my new life. The best medium for this new work is acrylic because of its brilliance and colour saturation. What I find interesting is that these “new” works echo back to my “older” work in Abstract Expressionism in New York City in the 1960s.

After much initial self‐doubt, I have come to know and trust my inner self and personal growth. I found a source for making art that allows me to reveal that which is private in a way that resounds as a universal truth. This public exposure becomes an on going motivation.

Johnnene Maddison
London, Ontario, Canada

Contact Johnnene

If you are interested in any of my work, I would love to hear from you. .