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Fiona McMonagle

b. 1977

Fiona McMonagle is an Irish-born, Melbourne-based artist. McMonagle grew up in an outer suburb of Melbourne and completed a qualification in visual arts at RMIT before progressing to the Victorian College of the Arts. Her graduation show in 2000 comprised a huge collection of watercolour portraits and she continued to specialise, adventurously, in the medium of watercolour for some years. In particular, she became renowned for painstaking animated works, rendered in watercolour. In 2010 she was awarded an Australia Council residency in London. In 2014 she won the Yarra Trams People’s Choice award at the Basil Sellers Art Prize and in 2015 she took out the invitation-only National Self Portrait Prize at the University of Queensland with an animated self-portrait. She was a major exhibitor in the Adelaide Biennial in 2016 and the National Portrait Gallery exhibition The Popular Pet Show over 2016-2017. Having returned to the medium of oil paint, she is currently preparing works for the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition of women artists’ perspectives on aspects of Australian history scheduled for 2018. Her work is held by the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and several regional galleries.

Fiona McMonagle is a keen and dedicated sportsperson and amongst her works are animated portraits of female boxers (The ring 2014) and female footballers (The huddle 2016). The portrait of Perry was selected from a group of portraits by McMonagle of Australian women who excel in male-dominated sports, including jockey Michelle Payne, AFL footballer Moana Hope and rugby footballer Sharni Williams. Executed in watercolour, the portraits were subsequently produced as prints.

Updated 2017