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Vibrant Macleay Island artist, Maddi Ekeblad and husband Peter recently made a ‘flying visit’ back to the islands for a final ‘goodbye’.

Maddi is now based in Penang, Malaysia, living ‘the life’ and taking her extraordinary art to SE Asia.

Seemingly her style, themes and colours really resonate with populations to the north, and China in particular.

“My art has always had a musical theme and music is universal. I literally paint music.

“My free-form style, seemingly, reaches out as well, and it has been a revelation; opening so many possibilities,” Maddi told The Friendly Bay Islander via a podcast interview we have also produced for our online radio station Radiofbi.

Maddi and Peter returned to Macleay to finalise their house here for sale and to catch up with many artistic friends, in particular Lynda Faulkner, Ted and Linda Upton, David Wells and Karen Foster.

“My artistic future is in SE Asia.

Since leaving the islands about 18 months ago, Maddi’s life has been exciting and thrilling, to put it mildly.

Not only is her art being welcomed everywhere and is in strong demand, she is regularly featured in the media in art features both in Malaysia and particularly in Hong Kong.

In fact, Maddi has invited another Macleay Island artist, Lynda Faulkner, to be part of a major exhibition in Hong Kong next March. It will be Madd’s 11th exhibition in Hong Kong.

Another major and exciting direction has come via film.

She was approached by film production company 72 Dragon Productions to produce a film that is called The Dying Piano.

It is a short 30 minute fantasy that features a piano that once was placed by the famous Teapot Tree in Maddi’s Macleay Island back yard.

The Teapot Tree was a large mango tree which Maddi adorned with teapots of every shape, size and description. (The teapots have been passed onto Lynda Faulkner who will recreate the Teapot Tree at her Macleay Island home.)

The piano was at its base and it’s deterioration over 18 months was not only remarkable, but was detailed and photographed, and filmed.

The 72 Dragon Production turned The Dying Piano into a metaphor for life with actresses playing various stages in Maddi’s life.

The film will make its debut appearance, it is hoped, at the famous Cannes film festival next year.

So, it is no surprise that Maddi Ekeblad is fully focused on her blooming new career and living in a very exciting part of the world.

She and husband Peter hope to sell their Macleay home soon and their directions will be to the burgeoning markets of the north.

Are they totally lost to our islands?

Maybe not.

“We still have a block of land here on Macleay and you never know how things will be in the future. We will always have that option of returning,” Maddi said.

And as for the art world on our islands, Maddi promotes it at every opportunity.

“The islands of Moreton Bay are wonderful for artists to base themselves and I know art here will continue to go from strength to strength.”

• Maddi Ekeblad and Lynda Faulkner and the tree selected to become the new Teapot Tree at Lynda’s Western Road home.

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