Madeleine Thornton-Smith has training in painting and ceramics.
Remediation is the act of re-forming an object in a material from which it wouldn’t usually be made. Thornton-Smith uses remediation as a method of investigating medium specificity—in particular the location where, and the manner in which, one distinct medium ends and another begins. Employing a slow process of accumulation and repetition, she uses slip-casting to bring together commonplace studio material surfaces—bubble wrap, acrylic paint, polystyrene, expanding foam, render and concrete—with archetypal forms from fine art and ceramics—vessels, plinths, frames, canvases and tiles. Recently the frame has been her focus. This mimetic process also interrogates material hierarchies: for example, a canvas or expanding form’s material currency is subverted through slip-casting – raising questions about the status and value of ceramics, art and craft. Through an accumulation of experience working in various mediums, Thornton-Smith tries to bring different ways of working to the practice of object-making. Collage and photomontage also form a big part of her practice: creating worlds that exist ‘between’.
Thornton-Smith has obtained various qualifications including a Bachelor of Arts/Visual Arts (Monash, 2013), Honours of Fine Art (Monash, 2014), Diploma in Languages (Spanish, 2015), Diploma of Ceramics (Holmesglen, 2017), and First-Class Honours in Object-Based Practice (Ceramics) at RMIT. She was a finalist in the Craft Victoria Awards (2016), Craft ‘Fresh’! (2018), Blindside ARI’s ‘DEBUT XV’ (2018), the Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award (2019) and was awarded a three-month residency (2018) and solo exhibition (2019) through RMIT:ART:INTERSECT after completing Honours. In 2019, she attended a 10-week ceramics residency at Cotto Designs in Lima. In 2020, she is due to do a three-month residency at Northcote Pottery Supplies and solo exhibition at c3 art space with works made during her residency in Peru.