Arts profile - Dr Mai Maddisson

MELBOURNE GP Dr Mai Maddisson considers herself a story-teller, whether the mediumis painting, poetry or prose.

“I like to find ways to engage the viewer or reader with aspects of life they would otherwise find daunting,” she says.

Early experiences as a refugee fleeing Estonia with her mother, arriving in Australia at the age of seven years, and later delving into her fractured family’s history, have shaped Dr Maddisson’s musings about human nature, including its darker side.

Surprisingly, her paintings dazzle with their bright colours; oil over acrylic is a favourite medium, for its luminosity.

Dr Maddisson, 68, sees no virtue in dwelling on the “endless browns, greys and blacks which life presents”.

Her latest book, Soul of Melbourne, due out mid- August, is a collage of paintings, photography and narratives about the city where she grew up and now works as a GP and as an artist.