Leigh Ann Willar McDonagh (Gila Girl Art) Warwickshire, United Kingdom
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.
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...[Read more]
|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|