When Caroline Magerl was a child, she dared herself to walk toward the end of a pier with her eyes closed. The idea was to stop before the edge. She fell into the water of course.
When Caroline paints, she feels much the same. The choices are often intuitive and the results are at once a surprise and a recollection. There emerges a pattern of conflict, a sense that she must go where things are inverted so a new thing can emerge, a synthesis.
Age can weary us but it can also give us the space to think.
Artist Caroline Magerl has found this space after many years on the run, emotionally and physically. The result is a unique and intimate body of work that peeps inside the unconscious self, tapping into dreams to find a visual language to express one’s journey in life.
Born in 1964, Magerl arrived in Australia from Germany in 1966 with her mother and father . She lived on the fringe of Sydney's suburbia until she was seven when her parents set sail on the 45 foot boat her father had built in the backyard. So started a peripitatic, rootless existence that saw Magerl go to ten different schools by the time she was 15. “I have often wondered what drove my mother and father. Outwardly it looked like romantic escapism, inwardly there was a deep sense of unease in our family .”
Magerl had started to notate her “‘memorable and sometimes shattering dreams’, which were to become a huge influence on her work. In 2001 she moved to Eumundi, a village in the coastal hinterland of Queensland, Australia, where she began painting fulltime and exhibiting. This was a busy time with sell-out shows and important connections made with key figures such as the late Sydney art gallery owner Eva Breuer.
In 2006 Magerl was on the move again, this time to Canberra to learn printmaking at the Megalo print studio, studying under Deborah Perrow , master printmaker formally employed at the Bodleian Library in Cambridge. Magerl excelled in this medium and now has her own press at home.
Now living in Buderim, Queensland, with her husband and teenage daughter, Magerl has seen her interest in portraiture grow over the past few years and has completed many beautiful and true portraits of her daughter and friends. Children’s books remain a great love and in 2012 she was awarded a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to do a picture book for children where she creates both words and pictures.