Martha Madden: The Ravensbruck Warriors

Updated: May 22, 2020

I am a mixed media fine artist in the second year of my degree at Bradford School of Art. My three pieces in the exhibition respond to the experiences of the Ravensbruck ‘rabbits’.

Q. Your work is obviously very concerned with visual storytelling, but can you tell us a bit more about your choice to articulate the story of The Ravensbruck ‘rabbits’?

My own discovery of the ‘rabbits’ was a coincidence, coming across an article about them. After reading the story, I was astonished that I had never heard of these incredible women before. It became apparent to me that this story seemed to be one of those which was mostly lost to history, and this catalysed my determination to create art about them. Showing the women involved and sharing their story to an audience was the most important goal for me.

Q. Striving to narrate untold or underrepresented stories, like that of these extraordinary women, I’m interested in knowing the role that research plays within your practice.

I would argue that the research aspect of my practice is just as important as the pieces themselves. Before I begin with the actual making, I immerse myself in around three weeks of research gathering. By choosing to narrate these stories, it’s critical for me that my work reflects a situation as truthfully and accurately as possible.

Q. Can you tell us a bit more about your practice as a whole, in particular what inspires your choice in medium?

As a mixed media artist, I am particularly interested in establishing textural value in my work. I strive to produce harmonious connections between visual and tactile properties - therefore, I find embroidery and layering usually performs a key role in my pieces.

Q. How do you feel your practice has evolved through creative education?

Studying art as a degree has hugely impacted the materials I select for my work. Before this course, I considered myself a painter, specialising in portraiture. Although much of my practice still responds to human issues, my work now embodies an amalgamation of collage, needlework and paint.


To see more of Martha Madden's work click the link below


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