Maddie Manston is a local artist and student at UAB, majoring in Art and Spanish. Though her primary medium is painting, she also likes to experiment with embroidery. Her work often reflects her own experiences as a woman, and she loves to explore the usage of vibrant colors and realism.
Maddie is influenced by how human experience and nature often reflect each other. In Byodo-In Koi Pond and Basis of Life (both pictured above), Maddie intends to emphasize this interconnectedness. She also draws inspiration from challenging traditional gender roles in art and the history of art’s depictions of women’s experiences, specifically the role of the woman painted as the object of a man’s affection in her piece entitled Self Portrait (shown below).
By including all of her insecurities in her portrait, Maddie intends to challenge traditional beauty standards and prove that beauty is in being the way that you are. Over the past months, she has taken time to undergo self-reflection which has resulted in newfound inspiration from her own identity and religious beliefs.
Gavin Bourke grew up in the suburb of Tallaght in West Dublin. Now living in County Meath, he holds a B.A. in Humanities from Dublin City University and an M.A. in Modern Drama Studies and Higher Diploma in Information Studies from University College Dublin.
Published internationally in various literary journals, his work is incredibly varied and covers nature, time, memory, addiction, mental health, and human relationships, among other interesting topics. He has participated in many national and international poetry competitions, with both single poems and book-length collections, winning some and being shortlisted and/or highly commended in others. Gavin is also a multi-instrumentalist and has been a songwriter and composer for the past thirty years.
In terms of his intentions for his pieces with Aura (“Purely Malignant” shown below), Gavin hopes that readers will find his work interesting and challenging and that they will take away something positive from them. He draws poetic inspiration from Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, W.B. Yeats, Phil Lynott, Damien Dempsey, as well as many more influential poets.