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Madelaine Kobe

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About Madelaine Kobe:

As an artist from the American South, primarily Louisiana and North Carolina, my work is deeply informed by my own natural history and questions what it means to live in these regions now. Building off the myths of my Christian upbringing, folk tales taught in elementary school, country music, and a mystical relationship with the natural world, I am navigating these superstitions and examining what it means to write my own. 

 

Central to my work are reclaimed and transformed materials I collect from these landscapes. I use clay pigments and pine needles from my parent’s land in North Carolina, inks from acorns and walnuts found while walking, rocks and objects collected from creek beds, mud from the bed of the Mississippi River, and charred bones from family meals. Transforming and redeeming my materials, as memento mori, the art objects take on their own presence, while the materials always point toward the fleeting material world. My work functions as reminders of finitude, pointing to the urgency of the present, of living. 

 

The forms in my work often resemble holes, portals, and tombs, referencing this sense of finitude. Birds, as a motif, represent the space between life and death, between earth and sky, but unlike Icarus, their wings are made of sawdust and glue. They have no hope of transcendence, entirely confined to the present world. 

Finding a deep sense of spirituality in the forests of Appalachia, I am learning what it means to love a place that can be hard to love, to love a landscape that loves me back. I make my work with gratitude and admiration, and as a critical yet redemptive response to the complicated places I call home.

Experience

Teaching a variety of courses, including foundations figure drawing classes, a critique forward senior level painting and sculpture course, book arts, and lithography courses has taught me the importance of a broad, materially complex educational experience. Given this experience, I am confident in my ability to teach a number of foundation and intermediate-level art courses. It would be a privilege to develop a course or teach workshops on collecting natural pigments, making traditional surfaces, grounds, and pigments for painting, natural ink, and dye-making techniques, textile printing, and paper making processes. 

Education

MFA Painting Candidate at Boston University 2023

BFA Painting from Louisiana State University

BA Liberal Arts- Art History from Louisiana State University 

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