Molding the Maker
McDonnell, in common with many artists, has been creating and making things since childhood. It was when he was 4 or 5 years old that his attachment to history and art became established, and his love affair with Ancient Egypt began in ernest and it has remained so ever since.
His creative direction was an inevitable path, to the great pleasure of his mother, but to the intial disappointment of his father who hoped his son would be something great in politics or science! But as his creative ability developed and became recognised by others, McDonnell’s father embraced and supported this path.
McDonnell gained a place on the fine arts foundation course at the then Camberwell School of Arts and Craft, London. There he was introduced to a breadth of disciplines taught by a talented team of artist lecturers which fed and fired his desire to use and flex his creativity in as many media as possible.
After successful completion of the foundation, the following year, McDonnell gained a place on the 3D design degree course again at Camberwell. The extraordinary professional talent he met allowed his fertile imagination to develop and grow.
Following his graduation, McDonnell set up his first studio to produce ceramic sculptural works. After several successful years, showing works in small galleries around the UK and exhibitions, including Contemporary Applied Art, The Crafts Council of England, showcase at the ICA, Phillips Art Oxford, Leeds Gallery, and various private commissions. McDonnell gradually moved into exhibition design, styling and installation.
Over several years McDonnell concentrated on creative exhibitions for The Crafts Council of England, Contemporary Applied Arts and small specialised museums. McDonnell worked in design, production and delivery of numerous exhibitions and displays for the Imperial War Museum from 1997 to 2016.
However, after sudden illness, McDonnell decided on a change of artistic direction, and moved away from the pressures of exhibition work to focus once again on his own work. In August 2016, he set up a small studio on the beautiful Sussex Coast where he'd grown up.
McDonnell is now exploring new artistic pathways, using lino print, gesso, gouache, watercolour, collage, textile and other media.
It is an exciting time creativly and artistically for McDonnell, with a renewed vigour making one off and very limited edition works, and working towards showing pieces during Artwave 2018.
McDonnells undying passion for making strong images that resonate visually, interlectually and emotionally of great quality is evident, using unique processes, and techniques,
With McDonnell we’re in the hands of a wonderful visual storyteller