Born in Dublin, Bernadette Madden graduated from the National College of Art and Design, where she studied painting. She works through the medium of screen printing (on paper) and batik (on linen). She had her first solo show in Dublin and has continued to exhibit regularly throughout Ireland as well as abroad. Countries in which she has shown her work include the United States of America, Norway, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Bernadette is represented in numerous private and public collections, including Aer Lingus, the Arts Council, the Ulster Museum, the National Self Portrait Collection, the Office of Public Works, Electric Ireland and the County Council collections of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Laois and Louth. She served a three year term on the Board of the National College of Art and Design, and two three year terms on the Cultural Relations Committee of the Department of Art, Sport and Tourism Awards include the Macauley Fellowship, awarded by the Arts Council and a Cultural Relations Committee grant.
Batik is the ancient art of patterning fabric. Images are drawn on the cloth with molten wax and when the cloth is then immersed in a cold–water dye, the waxed areas resist the colour, thus making a pattern. The process is repeated for every new colour. When the batik is finished, all the wax is removed, mainly with boiling water. The batiks in this exhibition have been dyed an average of ten times.
Silk screen printing is a type of stencil printing. A gauze screen (originally silk, now usually nylon) is fixed tautly onto a rectangular wooden frame. A design is applied to the gauze, this can be a simple paper stencil or a liquid which hardens when painted on. The frame is laid flat on a sheet of paper, printing ink is poured on to the gauze and forced through to the paper using a rubber blade called a squeegee. Since a single screen cannot be easily inked in more than one colour, this is usually done by successive printings using a different screen for each colour. The screen prints in this exhibition are made in a varied edition (V.E.),where the basic image remains the same , but the colours are sometimes changed, making each print slightly different.