Fiona McMonagle

Clara Adolphs and Fiona McMonagle announced as finalists in the 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize

We are thrilled to share that Clara Adolphs and Fiona McMonagle have been shortlisted for the 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize.

The 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize is a signature event that showcases the diversity and excellence of Australian contemporary painting practice. Through these prizes, staged since 1938, the Gallery has amassed an exceptional representation of Australian paintings whilst supporting contemporary practitioners. Showcasing the best of contemporary Australian painting practice, this $30,000 acquisitive award and biennial exhibition will feature 28 works by leading and emerging Australian artists. Collectively, the stylistic approaches and thematic range of these works reflect the currency and relevance of painting today.

The 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize finalist exhibition will be on show at Geelong Gallery in Victoria from 25 June to 11 September 2022, with the recipient of the $30,000 acquisitive 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize to be announced on Friday 15 July at 6pm.

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Fiona McMonagle + Jahnne Pasco-White

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Fiona McMonagle’s ‘Titled’ and Jahnne Pasco-White’s ‘becoming-with (reconfigured)’.

Fiona McMonagle’s recent body of work ‘Titled’ speaks to the complexity and conflict via the portrayal of women in pop culture. The paintings in this series challenge us to question how we feel about powerful independent women, as well as exploring the way in which these portrayals may be viewed as either strengthening or marginalising.

The portraits in ‘Titled’ are of women who are variously considered Queens and Princesses – Crowned by the people. Traditional views of Queens and Princesses evoke images of greatness, divinity, fame and power. Images of Divas in particular are often idealised, figures of perfection, of almost divine beauty and radiance.

In ‘Titled’, McMonagle provokes the limitations and potential oppression of female empowerment by examining the compelling legacies and narratives of such popular icons across both the 20th and 21st centuries. Through these portrayals of pop icons who are: fragile and powerful; feminine and strong and independent, ‘Titled’ questions the role(s) of the empowered female. What sacrifices have these women made for their celebrity and what accolades have they been afforded? Finally, ‘Titled’ is a celebration of women – their struggles, complexities and their strengths.

Jahnne Pasco-White’s expanded painting practice considers the intersections between materiality and temporality. Her work is characterised by the labouring of delicate supports. Specifically, she is interested in the layers of authorship that are variously evidenced and concealed by the artist’s mark-making, as well as their continual processes of decay and renewal.

‘becoming-with (reconfigured)’ draws upon works made whilst a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary in Melbourne, and later shown at Gertrude Glasshouse in November 2019.

For the artist, to think and act ecologically implies an interconnectedness, in one form or another. Donna Haraway maps the implications of such interconnectedness as ‘becoming-with’, such that human-nature separation is refashioned as a myriad of bodily connections. Timothy Morton prefers ‘the mesh’. More concretely, the late Deborah Bird Rose emphasised instead ’embodied knots of multispecies time’, which usefully gets us closer to ecological processes of decay and renewal.

Jahnne Pasco-White is represented by STATION Gallery. ‘becoming-with (reconfigured)’ has been generously supported by the Marten Bequest and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Exhibition Opening Thursday 25 June 6-8pm
Exhibition runs from: 25 June – 25 July
*Please note if you wish to join us for the opening of these exhibitions, RSVP is essential.*

Hugo Michell Gallery acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

Fiona McMonagle WINNER of the ‘Local Art Prize’ in Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize

Congratulations to Fiona McMonagle who has been announced as the WINNER of the $3,000 Local Art Prize in the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize for her painting Toast with jam.

Fiona has strong ties to Bayside having spent her formative years as an artist living in Brighton East. Curator, Joanna Bosse said Toast with jam was imbued with a heavy nostalgia akin to a forgotten family photograph.

“McMonagle’s painterly treatment of the figure is delicate and nuanced and she manages to capture the self-satisfaction of the quiet pleasure of eating toast with jam,”

Joanna Bosse

The 2019 art prize was judged by Jane Devery, Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Anthony Fitzpatrick, Curator, TarraWarra Museum of Art and Joanna Bosse, Curator, Bayside Gallery.

Finalist exhibition at Bayside Gallery will run 24 May–21 July, 2019

Read more here.

Fiona McMonagle and Justine Varga in ‘Ways of Seeing’ at the Art Gallery of South Australia

Fiona McMonagle and Justine Varga are now showing in Ways of Seeing at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

“With a primary focus on contemporary works, Ways of Seeing highlights over 100 recent acquisitions to the collection.”

Exhibition runs until April 22 in Galleries 9, 10, and 11 at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Archibald and Wynne Prize

Congratulations to Fiona McMonagle who has been selected as a finalist in the Archibald Prize! Our Congratulations also extend to William Mackinnon who has been selected as a finalist in both the Archibald and Wynne Prize!

You can see the finalists exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from May 12 to September 9 with the winner to be announced on May 11.

Archibald Prize Finalist – William Mackinnon, The long apprenticeship, 2018, acrylic, oil and automotive enamel on linen, 95 x 125.5 cm

William Mackinnon’s painting is a self-portrait. ‘For many years, I got jobs in a self-styled apprenticeship where I could learn from exceptional artists,’ he says. ‘I watched Jeffrey Smart paint, helped catalogue the Roger Kemp estate, worked as Tim Maguire’s studio assistant, and as Kim Westcott’s printmaking assistant. I was an intern at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and at Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation in Texas.’

In 2010, Mackinnon was a field officer at Papunya Tula, an Aboriginal artist cooperative in the Western Desert. ‘That is where this image comes from. Sitting with Naata Nungurrayi, 500km west of Alice Springs, mixing her paint and watching her sing and paint, was an extraordinary privilege,’ he says.

At age 28, Mackinnon went to the Chelsea College of Arts in London, then completed a Master of Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts. He now lives between Melbourne and Spain, and paints full-time. ‘Looking back, it’s not a bad CV but at the time it was precarious and disjointed. I want that to come across in the painting. As an artist, you have to live by your wits, create opportunities and find your own voice. It is scary at times but an incredibly rewarding way to be in the world.’

This is Mackinnon’s first time in the Archibald Prize and the second year in a row he has been a finalist in the Wynne Prize.

Archibald Prize Finalist – Fiona McMonagle, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, 2018, oil on linen, 101.5 x 88.5 cm

Dr Sangeeta Sandrasegar is a Melbourne artist currently based in Germany. Born in Brisbane to Malaysian and Australian parents, she spent the first part of her life between both countries before settling in Melbourne where she studied at the Victorian College of the Arts. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2000.

‘When I first began the process of choosing a sitter, I knew one thing: that I wanted to paint an inspiring, strong woman, also one that I connected with. It just so happened that one of my closest friends fitted the bill perfectly,’ says Fiona McMonagle of her first Archibald portrait.

‘Our close friendship has allowed me to be privy to her innermost thoughts and I believe this has given me the insight to paint her from the inside out, looking past her physical beauty and gentle nature to uncover her true strength and determination.

‘On approaching this portrait, I wanted to capture all the complexities that make up Sangeeta’s personality and directly confront the viewer as if to say: “Don’t underestimate me”. Her face is partly covered by her hair so as not to reveal too much and to suggest she is keeping just a bit to herself.’

Fiona McMonagle Joins Hugo Michell Gallery as a Represented Artist

Hugo Michell Gallery welcomes the addition of Fiona McMonagle to our represented artists!

Fiona McMonagle completed her studies in 2000 at the Victorian College of the Arts and has since been engaged in international residencies and exhibitions nationally. Her practice has a grounding in watercolours but her understanding of the medium and form has extended to include moving image and installation. Painting the figure, McMonagle draws inspiration from her suburban upbringing, challenging and celebrating the moments we take for granted.

McMonagle was selected as a finalist in the 2014 and 2016, Basil Sellers Art Prize, and was the winner of the invitation-only, National Self Portrait Prize in 2015. In 2010 she undertook a residency at the Australia Council for the Arts Studio in London.

Selected exhibitions include, Magic Object, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia (2016); Luminous: 100 years of watercolour, National Gallery of Victoria (2016); Self Conscious: Contemporary Portraiture, Monash University Museum of Art (2012); Beleura National Works on Paper and Gaze, Redland Art Gallery, Queensland (2010) amongst others.

Her works are held in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, The National Portrait Gallery, Artbank and various university and regional galleries.

We congratulate Fiona on all her achievements and we are thrilled to be working together in the future.

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Fiona McMonagle | Tim Sterling

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Fiona McMonagle’s A dog named Chop, and Tim Sterling’s Blinding by the light, on Wednesday, June 28 from 6pm!

Fiona McMonagle’s latest body of work, A dog named Chop, sees the artist present an entirely new body of work in her signature style. Echoing snapshots from a past era, the work appears uncannily familiar, yet loaded with personal relevance. Based in Melbourne, McMonagle recently exhibited in the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object at the Art Gallery of South Australia. McMonagle also has works in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artbank, and various regional galleries.


The denial of contingency is not simply an issue of aesthetics and visual order, but a much wider one of social control and cultural cleansing.

– J Till, 2008

Tim Sterling presents three large-scale investigations that dissect visual codes through the use of gridding, layer, and camouflage. Sterling’s work invites audiences to examine intrinsic patterns within mass representation. Tim Sterling received The Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, attending the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Sterling has exhibited widely including significant institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Australian Experimental Art Foundation, and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art.

Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two exhibitions on Wednesday, June 28!