Walking into an eerie sadness with Bea Maddock at the NGV

Fleeing figure, Bea Maddock, 1966

I didn’t know Bea Maddock’s work until I saw it on the walls of the National Gallery of Victoria. There’s something soul-destroyingly sad about her work that I can’t quite put my finger on.
The statement as you enter the gallery is touched with melancholy, about an artist who tries to crack the art world, doesn’t quite make a living, retreats home and hones her craft.

Bushfires engulf her studio in the Ash Wednesday fires on 1983 and a life’s work is destroyed.

She’s one of Australia’s greatest print-makers, imbuing her works with a haunting spirit, tearing at the darkness behind my heart. It’s beautiful.

Crossing, Bea Maddock, 1965


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