Rosemary Madigan was born in Adelaide. After studying sculpture at the South Australian School of Art, she later trained at the East Sydney Technical College under Lyndon Dadswell. In 1950 Madigan won the New South Wales Travelling Art Scholarship, which led to studies in Europe and India. On her return to Adelaide in 1953, she spent some years teaching pottery, drawing and sculpture. In 1973 Madigan again moved to Sydney, and in 1986 she won the Wynne Prize with a sandstone female torso.
FIFTEEN FIGURES, 1980, was done by Madigan without any direct reference to drawings or sculpture. They are notations of her thinking on sculpture - fifteen figures emerging from the artist's creativity, as possibilities perhaps for future works but mostly simple entities of their own.
These lively little figures provide a dramatic contrast with the timeless qualities of Madigan's QUARTET, 1981-1991, a large carving in Gosford sandstone, which stands in the grounds of Carrick Hill. This imposing work was included in the joint exhibition of Madigan's sculpture and that of Robert Klippel held at Carrick Hill in 1992, and is on loan from the sculptor.