indie art & design blog

three of a kind: madeleine stamer

Friday, November 13, 2009 | by Carolyn Price

Limited edition giclee print by Madeleine Stamer

Limited edition giclee print by Madeleine Stamer

Three incredibly talented Melbourne girls have joined forces to bring us the upcoming "Three of a Kind" exhibition. We are thrilled to be supporting this show, and will be bringing you artist interviews as well as pics from the opening night, which will be at
Lab X Gallery on Friday 20th November 2009, from 6-8pm

Madeleine Stamer (of Little Circus Design), Irene Grishin-Selzer (of Iggy & Lou Lou) and Beci Orpin (of Beci Orpin & Tiny Mammoth) are the 'artists three' and they've launched a pop-up blog at to cover the exhibition!

We've asked each artist a series of questions about the show, and first up is Madeleine! Her artworks are just beautiful, with fluid graphic and illustrative elements. I think people feel a strong connection to her work as it seems very personal. Each image tells a story, with inspiration drawn from the characters & creatures from her childhood, natural history, Mexicana, folk art, vintage prints & patterns.

Madeleine has taken a little time off from exhibition preparations to tell us about the show, and working with Irene & Beci...

Three of a Kind exhibition banner

MS I will proudly boast that I am Irene's biggest and most loyal fan and I've been smitten with Beci's work ever since I laid eyes on her iconic Sad Tooth image. As it happens, we are all quite fond of each other’s art and we have a stack in common both personally and professionally. Beci and I are both proud mothers of two children and Irene is expecting her first bubba early next year! It was only a matter of time before the three of us made contact and decided to exhibit together. Beci and I belong to the same illustration agency (The Jacky Winter Group) and Irene and I had an already established friendship. Irene and I have been pals for nearly 10 years. We met while we were both doing our Masters at Monash University. We shared an idyllic studio space with an amazing view of the city. Irene and I happily chatted away the days as we worked on our ceramics. Our friendship grew and grew and our respective partners also became buddies. Our hubbys share similar interests such as their love of old Mini cars and other boy stuff. Irene and I have been planning to exhibit together for many years. 2009 was the year to get our bums into action. We decided to invite Beci on a whim. Luckily for us she willingly accepted and the two of us became 'three of a kind' over night!

Limited edition giclee print by Madeleine Stamer

Limited edition giclee print by Madeleine Stamer

I What makes you 'three of a kind'? The motivations behind your works, your techniques & approach or the themes that run through the artworks, or a little of each?

MS Our three of a kind theme is multi-faceted. Broadly speaking it covers our fond admiration for each other's personal style and shared interests. The three of us have a similar work aesthetic and we are motivated by similar medium choices and inspiration. Our work often possesses folk traditions and like-minded ideas injected with a humorous yet dark edge. Building up to the show we have maintained tight communication with one another via email and we have been privy to digital images of each other's work that we are including in the show. Obviously we haven't seen absolutely every piece of work but we trust each other completely. I personally can't wait to see how it will all come together.

Bird on a Cross Limited edition giclee print by Madeleine Stamer

"Bird on a Cross" Limited edition giclee print by Madeleine Stamer (AU $150 A3 size or $330 56x76cm)

I What led you down this career path?

MS I chose to pursue illustration because I simply adore the drawing process. I have two small children and limited studio space plus I sold my kiln so illustrating became a very appealing career choice. I’m also a part time art teacher so luckily I have access to a kiln. I still love working with clay and I regularly get the students involved with clay-based projects.

The Blackeyed Susans Reveal Yourself album cover by Madeleine Stamer

The Blackeyed Susans "Reveal Yourself" Album cover by Madeleine Stamer

I What do you love most about being an artist/designer?

MS Luckily for me I have the regularity of a good part time teaching job but I also love the thrill of being involved in freelance opportunities and agency work. You never know what is around the corner and there are so many wonderful opportunities to become involved in. Obviously my illustration work is sporadic but somehow it all comes together. I push myself to be ultra organized and communicative otherwise opportunities fall by the wayside. I also have a very loving and supportive husband who encourages me to keep moving! When I’m not teaching and if I don’t have any deadlines I squeeze in my personal art such as the work that I have compiled specifically for the three of a kind show. Being able to combine so much of what I love makes me a happy person, but it takes hard work and determination particularly when you have kids.

Illustration by Madeleine Stamer

Illustration by Madeleine Stamer

I Does living in Melbourne influence your artwork?

MS Unknowingly I think it has an intrinsic connection to my work. My environment and experiences influence my work a great deal. My art often references fond childhood experiences and interesting encounters. I lived near Dampier Creek in Mount Waverley. In the 70's, Mount Waverley was semi-rural! Milk was delivered by horse and cart (now I'm really showing my age!) Most geographical areas have a personality, Melbourne certainly has great characteristics and I love it very much!

I What is the focus of your work for the Three Of A Kind exhibition?

MS 2D work, large-scale giclee prints and I have designed some limited edition birdie mobiles made of laser-cut acrylic. The themes vary, but as usual most images include a bird and a little touch of Australiana.

Limited edition giclee print by Madeleine Stamer

Limited edition giclee print by Madeleine Stamer

I What do you love most about the work of the other two girls?

MS Their originality and the personality that shines through their work.

Thanks so much, Madeleine for sharing a piece of the Little Circus world with us, and best wishes to all three artists for the show! It will be a special one...

You can see more of Madeleine's work at Little Circus Design, or revisit our previous posts about her work: 20.12.2007 "feature artist: madeleine stamer" and 15.4.2007 "run away with little circus". If you're in Melbourne, make sure to visit the Three Of A Kind blog and of course, the show!

The exhibition opens at Lab X on Friday 20th November 2009, from 6-8pm, and continues until November 29.

Lab X
40 Pakington St, St Kilda, 3182.
ph. 03 9534 8838
Gallery hours are 8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

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