Fiona McMonagle plays with the potential of watercolour – pushing it past traditional styles to create her own techniques, depicting unlikely subjects and continuing the flow of watercolour with digital animation. As an artist, what remains consistent is her embrace of the challenge, and it is this that sets her up to be as tenacious and intriguing as the subjects she portrays.
In 2015 Fiona McMonagle was the winner of UQ Art Museum's National Self-Portrait Prize and in 2016, she was included in the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She has also been a recent finalist in both the Basil Sellers Art Prize (2016, 2014) and Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery’s National Works on Paper Prize (2016).
Her work is held in numerous public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Portrait Gallery, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Monash University Museum of Art, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Artbank and Maitland Regional Art Gallery.
SMOKE AND MIRRORSIn Smoke and Mirrors, a solo exhibition of watercolour works by Melbourne-based artist Fiona McMonagle, the artist continues her ongoing exploration of female identity and celebrity culture. Exploiting the translucent qualities of watercolour as a medium, McMonagle reveals a melancholy and a nostalgia in her large-scale portraits of solitary female figures such as Virginia Woolf, Madonna and Frida Kahlo. McMonagle's portraits depict the vulnerability and strength of her subjects, and examine the portrayal of women in popular culture. McMonagle says, 'I have always had a fascination with popular culture and what kind of influence it has. When we are young, popular culture is what we mostly consume, and I am interested in how it affects us as people'. Since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), McMonagle has exhibited extensively throughout Australia, both in highly successful solo exhibitions as well as curated group shows. Classy, a survey exhibition of her works from the past decade, was held at Bayside Gallery in 2020.
FIONA MCMONAGLE AT MAITLAND REGIONAL GALLERY
Works by Fiona McMonagle are on display at Maitland Regional Art Gallery in Shadow Boxer. The exhibition highlights artists' cultural fascination with the boxing ring, showcasing works by contemporary Australian artist who explore ideas of race, gender and class and the physicality of boxing in their work.
Shadow Boxer is on display until 26 September 2021.
McMonagle's next solo exhibition will be held at the gallery in September 2021. To request a preview, please contact the gallery.
Image: Fiona McMonagle, Misha, 2014
FIONA MCMONAGLE AT MORNINGTON PENINSULA REGIONAL GALLERY
Fiona McMonagle was selected as a finalist in the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery (MPRG)'s National Works on Paper Prize.
Established in 1998, the prize supports and promotes contemporary Australian artists working on or with paper a $15,000 major acquisitive award. The exhibition of finalists is on display at MPRG until 21 February 2021.
Image: Fiona McMonagle, Rachel Meghan Markle, 2020. Photo: Tobias Titz
Showing all 47 artworks