Interview with Madeleine Beech
When I started this journey, I never realised how consumed my life would become by the task at hand. That said, it is the sacrifices my own family have made to allow me to make this possible that I am eternally grateful for. They have never complained, they actually got involved in different parts of it. Whatever needs to be done, they give it a go.
I can’t remember Maddy without a crayon. As a child, she would spend hours with her dad drawing incredibly intricate stories on those never ending Ikea paper rolls. Her art teacher in Year 10, said "Your child, once drawing, is in a zone that even an elephant running across the room couldn’t bother."
After her 3 weeks stint at uni in fine arts , I took her on our first trip to Nepal and India to give her a bit of perspective on life.
For us to share this experience, work together with the team of The Stitching Project gave us the same understanding, commitment and work ethics to achieve what we aimed to do.
Over the following 4 years, Maddy has designed four prints for the project, each time a bit more mature. To create with your child, as a mother, is an incredible experience; it allows you both to connect and bond on such a deep and raw level, to let go of everyday’s realities to create, and to give each other the room to do so. She is now an adult graduating in her own arts practice and I can't wait to see what the future holds for her.
How has your work with The ANJELMS Project influenced your practice?
Madeleine: The ANJELMS Project has influenced my practice in many ways. I was given the opportunity to work at the Anjelms stores to assist customers, gallery sit, learn about the story of each product, and learn about ethical fashion, fair trade and of Fremantle as a community. This gave me an insight into what people wanted and what they liked whether it be the story, print, style of an outfit or the originality, sustainability and quality.
From this understanding and education in Art, I was given the opportunity to work on seasonal prints for The ANJELMS Project and travel to Nepal and India. The projects I visited, such as The Stitching Project, taught me about the printing, stitching and tailoring processes in their workshops. These truly valuable experiences led to many collaborative print designs and creative relationships. Through my years working with The ANJELMS Project I have been involved in the making and understanding of their products from ethical and sustainable perspectives whilst being immersed in community. My practice has benefited from developing interpersonal skills, learning art processes, travelling and meeting the projects and people involved with The ANJELMS Project. Be responsible, understand and educate ethical and fair trade lifestyle choices.
Three ethical things you do in your everyday life.
- Only buy second hand or invest in good quality ethical fashion
- Recycle, trade, repurpose and pass on materials for my art practice
- Connect with the people in my community
Where do you draw inspiration from?
M: I usually draw inspiration from my own identity, surroundings, history, the selection of materials, skills/mediums and the act of making.
What are you working on now?
M: I completed an Associate Degree of Visual Arts at North Metropolitan TAFE in 2017 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Curtin University in 2018. I am based in Fremantle WA, and am involved with the artistic communities and galleries, and have recently received the Artsource Industry Ready Award, and nominated from my graduating class for Hatched Graduate Show 2019. In 2019, I will be exhibiting at Heathcote, Paper Mountain and The Mundaring Arts Centre. My work is process-based multimedia exploratory of found natural materials with an interest in the alchemy of transforming them into new intriguing artworks. Working with The ANJELMS Project during my internship and collaboration has allowed me to design the Autumn Collection's print and we are now focusing on the winter range.