Monday, July 20, 2015

Meet our Work Experience student, Maddi!

Maddi Patterson in front of Lorna Murray's work "Making Space" (2014)

Last week at Town Hall Gallery, we had the lovely Maddi Patterson with us on work experience. Maddi joins us from Braemar College and has been a wonderful addition to the THG team!

We quizzed her about her time here with us and we know you'll enjoy hearing about her journey over the past week. We'll miss you Maddi!


[THG]: Tell us about yourself, do you make Art in your free time? 

[MADDI]: First off I’m Maddi. I’m 15 years old in year 10 and I'm at Town Hall Gallery for work experience this week. I do art in my free time and generally in classes at school, especially math when I’m bored. I LOVE art. I am very passionate about it and hopefully someday I’ll be well known for it. I do a lot of drawing, digital drawing and watercolour artwork ranging from hands to portrait to fruit and weird made up objects I make up in my head. 

[THG]: What did you want to be when you grew up? 

[MADDI]: Well not an artist. For a while I did want to be a vet which I have found many young people have wanted to be. A fashion designer was another and ballet dancer. I did nine years of dance and it was a big exciting activity throughout my younger years. But I always had an interest in drawing and art classes in school. 

[THG]:What’s been your favourite part of your work experience with us here at THG? 

[MADDI]: Hard question, to be honest I’ve loved every bit of it here but my favourite part of the whole experience would be meeting the artists and hearing their ideas and hearing how passionate they are about what they do and it definitely inspires me to move forward with my art and show it more. I also love how casual each of the meetings are. You connect with the artist way more and I felt like I had already met them before. 

Maddi hard at work in the gallery offices!

[THG]: Tell me 3 things you have learnt that you didn’t know about art galleries from your time with us. 

[MADDI]: Definitely how much time and preparation it takes to make an exhibition possible. I have learnt that doing the labels for each piece of work takes an incredibly long time and a lot of checking for incorrect and misspelled bits. Last thing I have learnt is to do what you love and make the most out of it and show what you do to the world. 

[THG]: Do you have a favourite artwork from the current exhibition? 

[MADDI]: Yes I absolutely love Pranayama by Gillian Lavery. The idea that the piece is around ‘locating oneself in the present moment’ and the description itself is just so beautiful and can mean many different things to different people. I love how the piece is so simplistic and whimsical. Looking at the work gives me a sense of relaxation and calmness. 

[THG]: If you could have dinner with any artist, living or deceased, who would it be and what would you talk about? 

[MADDI]: Oh wow um, I have so many such as Grayson Perry, Amie Luczkowski-Gibson and Serene Kitchen who is a new artist I adore now, but I would have to say Amie Luczkowski-Gibson. She’s such an inspiration to me; her art is so unique and beautiful but edgy and strange. She has inspired me with quite a few of my artworks. I would talk to her about where all her inspiration comes from and where she sees herself going in five or ten years. 

Amie Luczkowski-Gibson, image via

[THG]: What inspires you? 

[MADDI]: Interesting people, movies and magazines, music and emotion mainly. I feel like interesting, odd and arty people inspire me most because they think differently than anybody else. I like people with broad minds and look at life beautifully and perceive things beautifully. I love people who are themselves and don’t care what others think of them. Those people inspire me most and that’s where most of my ideas for my artworks come from. 

[THG]: Do you think you’ll go on to study Art when you’re older? 

[MADDI]: MOST DEFINTELY! I’m already looking at Universities to apply for and offer lots of areas of art. I definitely want to study in Melbourne because the Melbourne life in an apartment appeals to me so much. I definitely want to be in the art area whether that’s being the artist or curating or even both. Art is a big part of my life and its where I want to head and be known for. 


Maddi's Thoughts...

Being a work experience student in a new area, new surroundings around new people and having different expectations of me is quite challenging yet exciting on many different levels. My time at Town Hall Gallery has been absolutely incredible and an experience I never thought I’d have. Being very interested in the arts this job has appealed to me and inspired me to carry my art to a further level. Seeing all the artists within the 2nd Tamworth Textile Triennial Exhibition has broadened the way I think about different ideas and opinions. Seeing the pieces of art with all different meanings and all produced through different ideas and feelings you definitely find yourself connecting with one or more pieces being exhibited, finding myself connected through one specific piece. 

The piece I loved and connected with most was Pranayama by Gillian Lavery. The piece is influenced by the use of breath in meditation practice as a way to locate oneself in the present moment. I love the description of the work, I somehow feel connected to it because it gives the reminder to live in the present and finding oneself through all the clutter around you. The fabric and simplicity of the art catches ones eye and gives the audience a feel of relaxation. From what I have seen in the gallery many people are intrigued about the works fabric and beauty. Swarms of people walked over towards the piece at once admiring its beauty and trying to comprehend what the piece meant and how the fabric was made. Following from this it has been amazing to be behind the scenes around the people who make the exhibitions possible, you’d never realise how much time, effort and coffees it takes to put one exhibition together. Curators figuring out placements and lighting and what piece of art should be the feature piece in the front of the gallery that catches the audiences’ eye. 

New exhibitions coming up mean lots of meetings, phone calls, note taking and the incredible amount of admin work such as filling around three hundred envelopes with flyers and typing up labels which are checked over and over again for any sort of mistake which then leads to cutting them all out with a Stanley knife to get a very precise cut and making sure each label looks the exact same, which I don’t think I achieved but doing pretty well using a Stanley knife for the first time. 

Often most would not think about ‘behind the scenes’ of putting an exhibition together or even making the art gallery itself, possible. This experience has most definitely made me appreciate the art gallery more. My expectations of the time here in the gallery were different from what it actually is. Expecting to be at a desk checking data bases all the time was definitely harsh of me to think. However I did do one data base log for the new Rotary Art Exhibition. I did not expect myself to meet amazing artists and especially meeting them casually and so calmly. Hearing each artist speak about their ideas and passion for art has given me so much persistence in continuing my art and experimenting with the mediums I use.