"I move between looking at loads of things that humans have been making with this stuff beneath our feet and then leave all that and just think -what can I make today? You form a bubble to work within and against. Things that come with inherent funniness, comic clumsiness, organic fecundity... popcorn, mudplops - small explosions; or things that you instinctively want to veer away from ... ( pod forms, autumn poplars, fireside spaniels) - all material to start with. Paying attention to clay in all it’s states, timing, working against gravity, acknowledging that you never have complete control, the phenomena of accident and chance, the dynamics between intention and luck. You’re making a kakariki with it’s yellow crown and the glaze runs so you have bird with poop on it’s Head, instead."
Madeleine Child has pursued the study of ceramic and glass in New York, Lisbon, and London where she received a BA(Hons) Camberwell School of Art, Masters from the Royal College of Art and Advanced studies Central St Martins College of Art.
Madeleine's extensive training and travel can be seen technically and conceptually in her work whether reflecting the distinctive colour and vibrancy of Mexican pottery or the playfulness in faux chocolate Easter bunnies. Her work evokes a sense of sentimentality that is, at times, countered with darker intonations as in Sweet As, a collection of intensely colourful popcorn. Buying her children coloured popcorn she became "fascinated by its fleshy gorgeousness, organic fecundity and forbidden fruitiness" creating hundreds of giant ceramic popcorn pieces sparking with colour to comment on food politics and additives.
Madeleine has received awards in prestigious competitions such as the Norsewear Art Awards, Waiheke Ceramic Awards, Gold Coast International Ceramics Art Awards, Sidney Myer International Ceramics Awards, and NZ Society of Potters Awards. Her work features in private and public collections internationally including the Frans Hals Museum in the Netherlands, Shepparton Art Gallery in Australia, the Dowse in Lower Hutt, the Otago Museum, and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Emmanuel Cooper included Child in his 2000 publication 'Ten Thousand Years of Pottery' distributed by the British Museum Press.