Bea MADDOCK, Solitary Enlarge 1 /1

On display on Level 1

Bea MADDOCK

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 1934 – Launceston, Tasmania, Australia 2016

  • England, Europe 1959-61, Canada 1978

Solitary 1978-79 Place made: Macedon, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, encaustic and collage on canvas

Primary Insc: signed and dated verso u.l., fibre tipped pen, "Bea Maddock '79"
Tertiary Insc: inscr verso "BEA MADDOCK '79 / SOLITARY"; collaged lettering " SOLITARY,LIVING ALONE, / NOT GREGARIOUS, WITHOUT / COMPANIONS, UNFREQUNTED / SECLUDED, SINGLE, LONELY, / SOLSTICE, ETHER TIME / (SUMMER, WINTER) AT WHICH / SUN IS FARTHEST FROM/ EQUATOE AND APPEARS TO/ PAUSE BEFORE RETURNING./ SOLUS, (FEM. SOLA). ALONE,/ UNACCOMPANIED. SOLVE,/ UNITE, LOOSEN, UNRAVEL,/ DISSOLVE; FIND ANSWER TO (PROBLEM) OR WAY OUT./ HENCE SOLVABLE AGAIN."
Dimensions: 183.5 h x 153.0 w cm
Cat Raisonné: [Book] [Catalogue raisonnĂ©] THOMAS, Daniel. 2011. Bea Maddock: Catalogue Raisonne Volume 1, 1951-1983. volume 1.
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.5
Provenance:
  • Purchased by the Australian National Gallery, from Stuart Gerstman Galleries, Melbourne, February 1980.

Bea Maddock has used cut-out letters from sheets of newspaper headlines to create Solitary. Each letter was attached with hot wax and painted. Over this she applied white wax (encaustic) to create a luminous surface, alive with subtle changes in colour and texture. The repetition of horizontal lines of text, of individual letters and the empty spaces between the words creates a gentle internal rhythm, mimicking the rhythms of the spoken word.

Maddock has explained of Solitary: ‘it has to be poetic … it has to read well and it took a lot of goes to get its final form before I started painting it. I worked it out very carefully in line patterns so I knew it was going to fit … I was controlled by whether the words fitted and whether they sounded alright.’

Bea Maddock’s work ranges across printmaking, photography, sculpture and painting, often merging these disciplines in ways that are subtle and uncontrived. An important aspect of Maddock’s work is her interest in the written word, drawing on diaristic references and extracts of poetry, prose and philosophical texts.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008

Bea Maddock has used cut-out letters from sheets of newspaper headlines to create Solitary. Each letter was attached with hot wax and painted. Over this she applied white wax (encaustic) to create a luminous surface, alive with subtle changes in colour and texture. The repetition of horizontal lines of text, of individual letters and the empty spaces between the words creates a gentle internal rhythm, mimicking the rhythms of the spoken word.

Maddock has explained of Solitary:

It has to be poetic … it has to read well and it took a lot of goes to get its final form before I started painting it. I worked it out very carefully in line patterns so I knew it was going to fit … I was controlled by whether the words fitted and whether they sounded alright.

Maddock’s work ranges across printmaking, photography, sculpture and painting, often merging these disciplines in ways that are understated and uncontrived. An important aspect of Maddock’s work is her interest in the written word, drawing on diaristic references and extracts of poetry, prose and philosophical texts.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014