Glenelg, South Australia, Australia born 1926
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, carved English limewood (English lime)
In the first half of the 20th century, the practice of ‘direct carving’ into wood or stone was seen as a modern, indeed authentic, means of translating an artist’s inspiration into material form. Indebted to this idea, Clifford Last developed an approach by which he would allow a work to evolve almost organically through an understanding of, and ‘truth’ to, the materials. He was particularly inspired by the carved forms of the British sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, which he encountered in London before arriving in Australia as a post-war migrant in 1947.
Madigan attended East Sydney Technical College and, in 1950, won the prestigious New South Wales Travelling Scholarship which allowed her to travel through Europe and study in London. She returned to Adelaide in 1953, and moved to Sydney in the early 1970s when her work began to receive wider public recognition, particularly following the National Gallery of Australia’s purchase of a number of important works, including Eingana in 1980.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Anne Gray (ed), Australian art in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2002