Leigh Ann Willar McDonagh (Gila Girl Art) Warwickshire, United Kingdom
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I am a multi-media artist, illustrator and writer. My work is often populated with a host of creatures, visions, beings and protectors that enter this world through my hands. I am influenced by connection the natural, the imaginal, the spiritual and the supernatural worlds. I call myself an 'environmental surrealist.' I am an expatriate American, living in the UK for nearly 20 years.

I work under my own name as well at that of Gila Girl Art. (www.gilagirlart.com) Gila Girl, my alter ego, is a hybrid of a childhood’s imaginary friend and an adult’s connection to wilderness and wildness. She inhabits the liminal spaces between dreaming and waking. She is an outsider, an ‘other’, an explorer of the multiverse.

I am an older woman artist whose work always brings it's own story with it as it is being brought to life. I am an artist who primarly works with paint, ink, textiles, photography and collage. I am exploring the use of sound and digital media in my practice. I am open to new ideas and fresh challenges and interested in discussing potential new projects, commissions and exhibitions.

I hope to challenge boundaries, limits and perceptions through my work. I am particularly interested in fostering a deeper understanding of human relationship to the natural world and am working on a series inspired by a living grove of ancient trees near my home, whose individual characters and stories can shift our vision of them from being 'things' to seeing them as unique entities enduring within in an interdependant community.

I am an admirer of many women artists who have made their own powerful voices heard in the midst of male-dominated art movements. Among them are Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Georgia O'Keeffe and Dorothea Tanning. I am influenced by their work, their personal strength of character and their enduring self-belief. Through their example, I have found courage, conviction and inspiration - working with confidence as an emerging artist who just happens to be an older woman.

Artwork

The Thunder Raven, oil on canvas, 2016, £600

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Recprocity, oil on canvas, 2017, £500

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New Mexico Scene, oil on canvas, 2017, £500

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The Original Gila Girl, watercolour and ink on paper, 2018, £100

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Dragonhopper Caught in a Spiderweb, watercolour and ink on paper, 2018, £75

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Disdainful Dog, watercolour and ink on paper, 2018, £75

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Albertina Knew There Was Trouble at the Snozzlebirt Factory, watercolour and ink on paper, 2019, £75

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Herbert Snozzlebirt Wondered if it Was Too Late to Try Out for the Intergalactic Football League, watercolour and ink on paper, 2019, £75

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Darlene the Dancing Fawn, watercolour and ink on paper, 2019, £75

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Steven Snozzlebirt was Somewhat Bemused by the Situation, watercolour and ink on paper, 2019, £75

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Sidney Snozzlebirt was a No-Nonsense Kind of Guy, watercolour and ink on paper, 2019, £75

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Lady Beulah Montague Fitzroy, watercolour and ink on paper, 2018, £100

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Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful, watercolour and ink on paper, 2018, £75

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Carleen Caterbelle Began Her Long Walk Home, watercolour and ink on paper, 2019, £75

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Previous projects

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A Tribute to Kate Bush

07/08/2015 to 28/08/2015

Group show. Artists invited to produce work inspired by the music of Kate Bush in honour of her return to live performance in that year. My work was a collage in ink, paper and acrylic referencing "The Red Shoes."

Ten Two Gallery, Hinckley, Leicesterhire, U.K. Details

BACKBONE - Older Women (A Response to the Photography of Shirley Baker)

01/11/2018 to 11/11/2018

It takes courage, confidence, resilience and perseverance to be an older woman. It takes backbone. Shirley Baker captured more than the static image of the older women she photographed. She managed to convey the essence of these women through her work. In doing so she inspired each of us who were involved in the exhibition to enter into a...

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Arcadia Gallery, Coventry Artspace Partnerships (curated by Anna Douglas), Coventry, U.K. Details

The Other Side of June

19/06/2018 to 29/06/2018

Inaugural BA (Hons) Fine Art and Contemporary Cultures Degree Show

Warwickshire College, Royal Leamington Spa, U.K. Details
Interested in
Artist book fairArtist TalkCommissionCompetitionContemporary art fairExhibitionJournal/PublicationOpen studiosParticipatory projectResidencyWorkshop
Media
Art writingArtists’ booksCollageDigitalDrawingFilm / VideoIllustrationPaintingPhotographySoundTextTextile
Other keywords
AbstractEnvironmentExperimentalFeminismFigurativeIdentityLandscapeMemorySite-specific