Madeleine Burt is an artist who lives and works in Nottingham, UK. She graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1998 with a first class honours degree in Fine Art. She has regularly exhibited nationally in solo and mixed shows, and has been awarded prizes for her work.

Madeleine’s work explores various themes: what endures in life; what changes or is changed; and what is lost along the way. These things include relationships, attitudes and objects. She is interested by the importance of association that we place on some objects, granting them status above their function, or giving purpose to things that are otherwise functionless.

This ongoing painting series is based on four baby bird skeletons which were uncovered from behind a boarded-up chimney breast. The poignant beauty of the skeletons had a power that seemed greater and of more subsequence, somehow, than if the infant birds had lived. They serve as a reminder of unfulfilled potential; of the peculiar beauty found in things perished; and of the sadness and power of altered states.

As the skeletons were found in a chimney and were covered in soot, there was an association for the artist with Charles Kingsley’s novel The Waterbabies. Some of the titles of these works are based on specific places mentioned in Kingsley’s novel, but the paintings serve as a wider reference to loss, change, discovery, redemption and reinterpretation.

Madeleine works in oil based media on panel and at times mixes her paint with a resin alkyd medium, which changes the consistency of the paint and gives a high gloss finish. She works the paintings in a variety of ways to create layers and texture with ‘anonymous’ marks: as if the painting has made itself. She contrasts this with areas that are clearly person-made, with obvious drips or a controlled, graphic application of line. She enjoys the implied tension or balance between motif and surface, and the ways the birds can be visually dominant to a surface, or almost lost within it: a chance discovery.

Madeleine's web site