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Capturing the unseen: Madaline Gardner´s energy maps


Where were you born?

I was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Where do you currently live?

I live in Brooklyn, New York.

Please tell us about your education.

In May of 2017, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Drawing with honors from Pratt Institute. My studio practice consisted of experimenting with materials that would convey fluidity and movement in tandem with the illusion I was trying to create within the content of my drawings. These materials included printing on fabric, and drawing on translucent or transparent surfaces like duralar, mylar, acetate, and acrylic.

Do you work with a gallery?

I am not currently working with a gallery, but I am seeking representation.

Please tell us about your career highlights.

Having the opportunity to live and work in New York has been continuously inspiring for me. I began working as an undergrad for Artbook at MoMA PS1, a non profit that supports publications pertaining to art. I attended book fairs and reviewed independent submissions from artists who make printed matter in the form of art books or zines. I have also worked for David Zwirner Books, a publishing company housed under a Chelsea gallery that creates artist books for prominent figures in the art world such as Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, and Yayoi Kusama, to name a few. Working with art books is perfect because it exposes you to so many makers that you may not have been familiar with!

I currently work as an artist assistant for Anne Peabody, an artist who creates drawings using a reductive process of removing silver from glass panels, as to create the illusion of an antiqued mirror. Anne is a wonderful mentor and you can see her work at

Being able to draw for a living is rewarding and also helps to improve my personal rendering skills. On the weekends I work as a gallery assistant for The Whitney Museum of American Art, where I engage with the public regarding current exhibitions.

What inspires you?

Above all, I am inspired by nature and energy. I enjoy studying imagery pertaining to dark matter and satellite photographs of space and planetary surfaces. The work of Carol Prusa and Vija Celmins speak volumes to me, and when I saw them I thought—well, someone has already created exactly what I aspire to make!

Could you please tell us a bit about your concept?

The past four years of my life have been incredibly grief-stricken. I have mourned the loss of eleven individuals within this time period. While I feel it is difficult for me to open up about the concept behind my work, I feel it is important to give agency for those suffering from trauma and subsequent mental health issues resulting from it. The repetitive line drawings that I create began as a process to distract myself from my dark or unpleasant thoughts. This process requires complete attention and would put me in a trance-like state. The resulting imagery is inspired by the void, or space just out of reach of comprehension. This theme is present in horizonless oceans, vortices, starry or static spaces. My drawings are a map of questioning how and where energy travels, as well as the physical map of my hand as it would encounter bumps or tremors from my environment or own involuntary loss of control. You can see more of my work at

What is your current project and your next goal?

My current project seeks to capture energy in a lighter state than I have perceived and conveyed it in the past. I plan on creating works in white or grey ink on transparent material, so that when light is projected on the drawing, which is hung some space away from the wall, the work can be seen in the shadow behind it. My next goal is to find a studio in Brooklyn! I have been applying for residencies and affordable spaces so that my new concept can become a reality.

What are your thoughts about THE LINE DRAWING PROJECT?

THE LINE DRAWING PROJECT gives artists the ability to create a piece of art that fits into a larger collaborative movement. The platform also gives the opportunity to share work with other artists and create meaningful and inspiring relationships within the art community. I am looking forward to seeing the end result, as the works form to create a dynamic art piece.

It was a pleasure. Thank you very much, Madaline.

Madaline Gardner

Madaline Gardner, ‘Echo’, 2016, intaglio print, black and silver ink on grey paper 22" x 14"

‘Echo’, 2016

Intaglio print, black and silver ink on grey paper

22" x 14"

‘Coalesce’, 2017, white ink on black museum board, 48" x 32"

‘Coalesce’, 2017

White ink on black museum board

48" x 32"

Madaline Gardner, ‘Reverberate’, 2016, lithograph, black ink on paper 19" x 13"

‘Reverberate’, 2016

Lithograph, black ink on paper

19" x 13"

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