Contemporary visual artist Madeleine Corbey
About the artist: Madeleine Corbey (Born in Hunsel 1959), a self-taught woman living in Duiven (Gelderland the Netherlands). In the studio 'Atelier Allegro' I am creating work with a lot of pleasure from paper-pulp (Paper-Maché)
How it started: Around twenty years ago, during my study in Maastricht I worked for a paper-manufacturing company (KNP nowadays Sappi) as a term of probation. I don't have very strong memory on this, I was just fascinated by the process of making paper, the heat the speed and the volume was dazzling, but never realized that untill recently. Years later already fascinated by sculpture I visited by, Centre Pompidou the Sacre Coeur, the eifel-tower and the Rodin museum in Paris the latter being the most impressive. Years after the visit to Paris, browsing my foto's I started investigation which artist created this colourful art, this all based on the not-disappearing remembrance on the colourful art around the centre of Pompidou. e-mailing Centre Pompidou provided me the answer, being Niki de St. Phalle. Other impressions are based on visits to Italy Florence and Venice in general and especially Tuscany with their wonderful sights, small villages the colours, the trees etc. These experiences and the continious impressions from nature are the basis of my current work, my inspiration is just there, I wake up up in the middle of the night, make a quick sketch and fall asleep again. Without the sketch I am restless, or even lose the idea.
I started in art with painting, and painted for years, and actually I am still doing this from time to time (I can do that even in the living-room).
I prefer very bright colours, but couldn't find an own identity in painting. I became interested in the third dimension and started sculpturing initially in wood but quickly afterwards in stone. Sculpturing is giving you the expression of third dimensions, is hard labour but very satisfying if you feel one with your material. Stone is having it's own heart and soul. Colours are shielded beyond other layers, this requires exploring. The idea's are influenced from time to time when you find a weak spot of stone, which requires that you carve that part out, having a dramatic impact on your intended shape. So sculpturing in stone is adventure.
Due to giving birth to our boys, I got pelvis-instability (straight translation from Dutch) and had to stop with sculpturing in stone due to the required good physic. After following several courses I came in contact with paper art or paper-mache. By using paper-mache I found a way to combine my preference for very colourful art with a three-dimensional non-toxical material. Big benefit of using paper-mache (in fact I am using pulp) as base-material allows you to make almost everything you can imagine, there are almost no boundaries, and you can make a simple painting-like shape or a cube, a circle. 'Just imagine'. Although not all inspiration will lead to success, I am simply not finishing work that doesn't feel good, it's nor really conmmercial, but I am making work I like (hoping other people likes it as well). Extreme forms in paper-mache will require some additional construction to support the shapes, but this can easily be achieved, I prefer to use cartboard for it, and for big shapes I uses chicken wire. So far I made candy (90 inch tall), a fish in three parts (80 inch), flowers, some bowls and bodies, fantasy animals and figures. The colour is the proof on the pudding, creating the fourth dimension on my work. A lot of my work is reversible eg the fish, so when you hang it in the other direction, or just look it from another side you have a different look and colours. Also some three-dimensional work, I make bowls you can easily put them up-side down, and you will be surprised about the effect, the shape and colours are different.
Pulpart: Base-material is pulp, I make this pulp my selves and use dependent on the kind of work all kind of paper or carton-board. It's quite a difference if you are creating small objects or big objects, the granularity of the pulp will have a major impact on it. I can start randomly or start with a basic shape, which can be anything a conus, cone, a ball or even my own body. His basic shape must be capable to support the further object. Sizes can be everything between 5 inches and 100 inches (bigger can be done, but transport will be hard with my small car). Last but not least the colour, the material I am using requires a base on top I paint in multiple layers creating a very special effect related to the material. I like a very colourful metallic paint in order to make people happy, I want people seeing my work leaving with a smile; my work must make people happy. My studio name 'Atelier Allegro' is derived from the Italian happy musical note Allegro and Allegro is also a combination of our two boys first-names(by co-incidence). Although I have some themes, all work is unique. All the shapes are handmade and even when you were using a mall the work differ due to variations in my pulp, the applied colours are pending on mood, time of day and the season, and I simply don't like series.
Giving birth to a new piece of art: The object construction time varies, but the base material has to dry, reworked, dry, reworked, etc, This process require a lapse time of weeks (small object) till months, and typically results in a lot of work under construction. Before painting I use gesso, providing a good base for the final layers (3-5) of paint, paint, dry, paint, dry, etc, finisher… You can imagine that most of my art requires three months from start to finish. Biggest benefit of the material is that it is very light, you can easily carry it, and it won't break when you drop it on the floor, although not recommendable. Another benefit of this material is that it's cheap base-material. (I have made a body following the lost-mall principle in order to create a body in bronze; this is now weighting 18kgs and costing a small fortune due to the material of bronze only. This is touching on the main disadvantage that I can't guarantee that my paper-mache will last for years outside in your garden. It would be a pitty anyway, the expressionistic colours are so explicit and will be influenced by dust, rain fog etc.. Nki de st Phalle used epoxy-hars for her art, but this is very toxic and is even the base for her passing away.
I am represented on several exhibitions during the year and provide courses and workshops for all kind of techniques. Workshops / Courses & Masterclasses
Duiven (The Netherlands)
Tel +31(0)316-281174 or +31(0)6-23937822