Madeleine Jones

← Return to The Space in Between: 2021 Senior Art Exhibition



My work examines the notion of projecting internal worlds onto the external, addressing how these projections are often influenced by incomplete information and distorted by emotion. We absorb information daily from a variety of sources, and base our desires and choices on this data. History (memory), belief systems (spirituality), the stars (astrology), and infinite intelligence available at our fingertips (technology) form the basis of individual identity and influence decision-making. These informational sources serve as portals, or conduits, thrusting us from the past into the future. However, the information we absorb from these sources is often incomplete, and the conclusions we draw are clouded by emotion, warped by our own bias and ego. My paintings explore my own curiosity with the irony and paradox of having access to unlimited information, but having no idea what to do with it. I primarily paint self-portraits, communicating the specificity of my firsthand experiences and emotions in an effort to speak to a broader idea of what it’s like to be alive in the twenty-first century—an attempt to make the specific more general. In my work, I employ metaphor to express internal states of being: an apocalyptic scene, a mushroom cloud created by a nuclear bomb, a UFO circling overhead; a transparent hand falling through a phone screen; a blue jean back pocket opening a door to another world, one that looks a bit better, a bit more peaceful. Using warm tones and soft shapes, I create a sort of visual diary, a paradoxically comforting safe space to explore modern anxiety—an alternate world I can step into and paint myself trying to step out of (through a window, a phone, or a back pocket).

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