Classically trained, Rosemary Madigan was introduced to the study of the nude female form at East Sydney Technical College. Never feeling that she had completely understood or mastered the essence of the female nude, Madigan was compelled to continue in her working of the subject.
As she says, it 'wasn't intentional to work with the female form, it just happenedI feel very comfortable with this.'
Madigan does not see herself as a student of the realist school of sculpture, but rather as an abstract sculptor. This is may be because all her sculptures are executed from her mind's eye, as she never uses life models. This may also explain why Madigan is able to retain identifiable sections of the body in even her most abstracted works.
Her preference for carving in wood or stone, compliments her notion that the female body is 'lyrical' and this can be seen in the curved lines, and sensuous and delicate shapes that she is able to produce.
'The female body is easier, it has more shapes and balance than the male body.'
Keeping a low profile away from the mainstream Australian art scene, Madigan feels that she is able to create works which aren't 'produced under pressure from her peers' and are free from current trends. This allows her to produce works where she strives to attain the 'essence of sculptural form'. Madigan sees her sculpture as a 'personal journey'.
Generally the sculptures are quite small and compact. This has been a conscious action by the artist as she feels that by creating a smaller work one is able to 'keep the work intimate and contemplative' akin to a small Buddha. Madigan feels that there is an inherent energy which is 'contained in the stillness' of her sculptures and that after viewing her sculpture for a period of time, one is able to feel or see this sculptural energy.
(All quotes from an interview between Rosemary Madigan and Ione Conquistador 2 December 2005)