By Artists For Artists

Madeleine Collopy: The Correspondence Between Movement and Stillness

Connoisseur of Movement

When one thinks about still art, one does not immediately connect it to movement, especially dance. Stereotypical beliefs about art lead many to believe that a painting on canvas is most likely two-dimensional and a sculpture – a piece of unmoving stone. However, Madeleine Collopy brings to the table a collection of pieces driven by the art of movement she is intimately familiar with – dance.

"Caramel Adagio I" by Madeleine Collopy, synthetic polymer, charcoal, pencil, pastel on premium color fix coated paper

Having a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Madeleine has been dancing for most of her life. When she made the shift from performing to fine arts and began her career, Madeleine created a way to use the art form she had mastered and incorporated it into her artworks. Body and its movement greatly inspire her work which is often reflected in her pieces.

"Pause" (Detail) by Madeleine Collopy, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, pencil on canvas, 2017

“Dance is ephemeral; once the performance is over, what do we take away from this? We won’t have the same experience again, so I’m looking at how this can be translated into the drawing.”

Untitled (Detail) Painting by Madeleine Collopy
"Caramel Adagio II" by Madeleine Collopy, mixed media on paper
Untitled Painting by Madeleine Collopy, mixed media on paper

Intricate Layers

Madeleine Collopy’s work is contemporary and experimental; often, her intuition and feelings determine the end result of the artwork she’s creating. There is no definitive image in mind when she begins working on a project; her process includes using a variety of media and an assortment of gestural brushstrokes on layered textual surfaces. The outcome is an abstract artwork that portrays the beauty of movement and the body.

"Dirty Voyage" by Madeleine Collopy, synthetic polymer, pencil, pastel, charcoal on canvas, 2018

“I use different colors to express the dynamics dancer’s body traces, as well as different drawing materials to express feelings of boldness or subtlety in her movement.”

"What’ll it be tonight? You’ve lost your…" (Diptych) by Madeleine Collopy, synthetic polymer, oil, pencil, pastel, charcoal, on canvas, 2018
"What’ll it be tonight? You’ve lost your…" (Diptych) by Madeleine Collopy, synthetic polymer, oil, pencil, pastel, charcoal, on canvas, 2018

Overall, Madeleine Collopy’s art reflects the generation which she is a part of. Where synergy between two or more forms of art has the ability to create something not necessarily precise or understandable, but brilliant nonetheless.

In 2018, Madeleine exhibited “Without Retreat” at BMG Gallery in Adelaide as well as at Studio Gallery Melbourne. More recently, she exhibited her own solo show “High Tension” at Glenelg Gallery in Adelaide.

“It’s supposed to be not just about dance but rather the synthesis of movement in general, everybody moves […] we know what it feels like to move.”

All images copyright of Madeleine Collopy

You can view more work by Madeleine on her Instagram and website.

Article written by Kathlene Masilongan

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