THE SIX FOOT GALLERY INTERVIEW: Madeleine Daly (Noughts & Crosses)

Maddy is a painter working from her studio in Elgin in the North East of Scotland. She takes inspiration from natural elements such as the land and seascapes, and explores stories from within these influences, considering the journeys people experience, both physically and emotionally. She enjoys playing with ambiguity and misdirection through a series of layering, and the use of juxtaposing marks, textures, and perspectives. 

Noughts & Crosses, Madeleine’s collaborative exhibition with artist Olga Dean Hart, runs at Six Foot Gallery until June 28th 2024.

Hi Maddy! Can you tell us how your artistic journey started?
I have always been a maker of stuff, I studied Spatial Design when I left school 30 odd years ago. I then fell into the world of interiors until I had my family. 16 years later, my husband was listening to me giving advice to my teenage daughter regarding school subjects and potential university courses. He commented later that I gave such good advice. However,  I was recommending her to do what I say and not what I do! He knew I had regrets about not going to art school and suggested might look into that for myself.  So I did, and in 2019 I graduated with a First Class BA Hon Fine Art.

Can you elaborate on the significance or symbolism of the chosen title of your exhibition? 
Noughts and Crosses was a title Olga and I settled on when having our initial meeting to brainstorm ideas. We discussed regular motifs within our work and Olga joked that she could see noughts and crosses… ‘wait a minute,’ we agreed, ‘”‘that could work!’ 

Within my work the crosses are made from the areas I mask with tape. These represent pathways, urban landscapes, mankind’s imposition on the natural landscape, control, strength, and decision making.

Which artists inspire you? Are there non-artistic influences such as literature or music that impact your work?
I am influenced by so many other artists, with a wide range of styles and processes. Agnes Martin, Anni Albers, Ed Ruscha, Joan Eardley, Ben Nicholson and so many more. 

What do you do to keep motivated and interested in your work?
I generally do not find it too difficult to keep motivated, although the addition of a deadline is a double-edged sword, and I usually find myself flying by the seat of my pants! Within my process, I have an ongoing experimental printing practice that I use to generate papers with acrylic paint. I use these papers in mixed media paintings and collage work. The process of making these offers complete freedom. It encourages experimenting and sometimes serves to loosen my mind up.

Are there any upcoming events or additional information you would like the audience to know?
I will be taking part in North East Open Studios (NEOS)  7-15th September, and I’m looking forward to welcoming visitors into my home studio.

Keep up with Maddy’s artistic journey on Instagram @mad.daly_artist

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