WOMEN IN FORTNIGHT: Madison Van Rijn
Photo Series by Arden Wray
Madison is a Toronto based creative artist and founder of Wild Altar; a plant based art direction company.
FORTNIGHT: Who are you and what do you do?
MADISON: I am Madison van Rijn. I am an artist and designer. I primarily do large scale mural and window painting, illustration and graphic design. In the past year I have created a plant based art direction company called Wild Altar with the Toronto florist Timberlost.
FORTNIGHT: What do you like to wear closest to your skin?
MADISON: I love the feeling of a cotton t-shirt on my skin. I don’t usually wear a bra so I am looking for optimal softness at all times.
FORTNIGHT: What does feeling beautiful mean to you?
MADISON: Feeling beautiful to me has had a lot of different meanings as I change and grow. I have a history of ballet training and also modeling from my earlier years that has shaped my confidence and perception of beauty, both positively and negatively. Today I feel most my self in my body, most accepting, most forgiving. This feeling of happiness inside is beautiful to me.
FORTNIGHT: What do you wear to feel most like yourself?
MADISON: I wear a lot of menswear. The cuts suit my body type and are generally more functional for my field of work (climbing ladders, picking flowers, painting windows).
FORTNIGHT: When do you feel most confident?
MADISON: Confidence is a fragile concept for me. A lot of my process as an artist and as a human being lay in the hands of my self-doubt. I feel most confident when I prove my self-wrong for feeling insecure.
FORTNIGHT: What makes a place feel like home?
MADISON: Beeswax candles. Lit with wooden matches. There is something magical about the smell of those two elements in the air that always brings me back to my childhood.
FORTNIGHT: Are there any self-care rituals that are important to you?
MADISON: Forgiveness. Of others and my self. I do “forgiveness meditation” which helps me let go of anger and negativity. This allows me to soften my mind and my heart when I am feeling unhappy or frustrated with the world around me.