ARTISTS IN ISOLATION | 2020
Swifts Creek., May 2020
Madelaine was born and raised in Swifts Creek, Victoria. After finishing year 12 VCE she moved to Melbourne to attend Deakin University and study a double degree of Science and Arts, majoring in Biology and Journalism. During her second year of study, she made the decision that university was not suited to her and decided to start an apprenticeship as a mechanic. After completing her apprenticeship, Madelaine and her partner decided to make the move back to the countryside and relocated to Taggerty to develop a Glamping business. At the end of 2019, she made the move back to Swifts Creek.
"We moved up to Swifts Creek a few days before the start day of the Ensay fire, so it was a pretty hectic welcome home. Plus a pretty interesting first season for my partner as a project fire fighter!
The bushfires put a hold on being creative. Instead I spent a lot of time prepping mums and dad’s property for fire. I also spent a lot of time completely stripping out one of dad’s sheds, painting the floor and reorganising it, so i had a proper workshop (there were a lot of trailer loads to the tip!).
I kind of only started creating again in March. I created a series called 'Poppy Fields' which was meant to be exhibited at the Jindabyne Lake Light Sculpture Show, but the show was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid 19. I started selling my poppy sets online and posting them all around Australia. Which crazily enough, they became super popular despite all the virus nonsense.
I kind of have an obsession with native plants, they are so striking and different. The Eucalyptus globulus (bluegum) is one that you see all the time when you are driving towards the more mountainous parts of Victoria. They are this vivid splash of ghostly grey/blue amongst that really dense green forest. I love using the galvanised plate for the leaves to create that contrast. Plus, it’s sparkly and everyone loves sparkly!
I was entered to be a part of Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, again unfortunately cancelled. But I have a series of bird baths I’ve been creating, the latest one for the garden show was a juvenile Eucalyptus globulus subp. bicostata.
For some reason I just seem to have a knack for weaving bolts and bits together to create a tree structure that has a kind of life.
I created a commission piece for one of the locals, a sheep letterbox. Baaasil turned out to be pretty funny, and he seems like a happy chap. Even though a mail deposit is somewhat invasive! My most recently completed commission piece was an indoor firewood stacker. My next goal is to move up my Epicormic Regeneration (as its still in Taggerty) and give it a bit of a revamp. A sculpture is never quite finished!"
- Madelaine Last, Swifts Creek, May 2020
You can see more of Madelaine's work here: Mad-Metal-Creations-by-Madelaine-Last