Maddison was born in 1990 in Nuremberg, Germany to two American army doctors. Her childhood education consisted of equal parts fiction, hobby store paint kits, owl pellets, and rocketry club. The paint kits won out and she graduated with her Bachelor’s in painting from Whitworth University in 2008, and has lived and worked in Utah since 2009. She graduates from BYU with her MFA in painting this April.
Science and religion are systems that work to organize experience into a manageable understanding of the world. Both of these systems gather information – one through mental/spiritual experience and the other through empirical/physical evidence – and then reorder it within a structured framework. They both work under the premise that truth is both existent and attainable within the context of their system. This separation is viewed as necessary in the knowledge/experience-gathering process, but when that knowledge is accumulated, neither science nor religion has the ability to access or communicate truth in its entirety. Plainly speaking, truth is vast and knowledge is limited. I am especially interested in the limitations of knowledge. These limitations (and their occasional transcendence) are what I seek to explore with my work. W. B. Yeats once said, “Man can embody truth, but he cannot know it”. I believe that art has the ability to meld the physical and the spiritual into an unquantifiable object. It melts duality. This makes it an ideal medium in which to explore the relationship between religious (spiritual) and scientific (empirical) learning, while using their methods to make objects embodying knowledge. In my work I visually explore the limits of knowledge and make attempts at understanding through the processes of information-gathering and transformation through ritual.