YOU FIND SILENCE WHERE YOU EXPECT NOISE – 9 Apr – 8 May 2019
In Salon C, Madeleine van Manen explores the notion of feeding the mind with ‘tranquillity’ and ‘silence’ in a world that creates so much ‘background noise’ in our daily lives.
Madeleine studied Fine Art Painting at the Port Elizabeth Technikon (now known as the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) under well-known lecturer and artist Vivian van der Merwe. Upon leaving art school, Madeleine followed a career in the advertising and publishing industry for two decades, and also ran a small gallery before finally getting the opportunity to start working as a full time artist herself. She currently works from her home studio in Cape Town, doing mainly painting and experimental prints.
She uses her personal experiences as reference and tries to recreate the atmosphere of each experience in her work, rather than focussing on the exact details. Current recurring themes include landscapes, cityscapes and domestic situations. The latter sometimes include the use of animals as a symbolic reference, carrying a message that is sometimes dark and disturbing and at other times tongue in cheek.
“You don’t necessarily find silence in a quiet environment – You find silence where you expect noise”.
Madeleine used this mantra as starting reference for her solo exhibition titled ‘You Find Silence Where You Expect Noise’.
She declares that urban and suburban areas are developed to a point of bursting. We live in constant chaos of commuting, communicating, socialising, managing our security, optimising mental and physical health, goals and so forth.
The intimate engagement and emotional attachment we have with our physical environment result in a mad buzz of collective energy – a noise both external and internal, real and abstract. The only way to find sanity and silence is to detach even when escape is not possible.
Ironically, the silence we are seeking can be found in this built environment – the same environment Madeleine tries to depict in her paintings by removing the unnecessary or unwanted detail (noise) from the artworks, creating an eerie feeling of forlornness, pensiveness and tranquillity.