Natalie McDonagh

It was a bit of a thing for me to go to art school. I was the first in my family to have tertiary education and I had the smarts to study something proper but I was deadset on art and design. My mum would have been an architect if she’d had the opportunity. She understood. There were clues. When I was 6 she saw/heard me playing with my imaginary friend, Dolney, making objects that had their own script and performance. Then there was the dressing up with my (actual) friend Vivienne; the avant-garde of back garden theatre.

When I got to art school and was let loose in the sculpture department every fibre of my being was alive. I made a sizeable construction, a space modulator to move through and around. A boy who fancied me offered to help carry it to the exhibition space. He dropped it. It broke. I wanted to cry and kill in equal measures.

Forty years on I am less inclined to kill but still compelled to make.

Natalie McDonagh

It was a bit of a thing for me to go to art school. I was the first in my family to have tertiary education and I had the smarts to study something proper but I was deadset on art and design. My mum would have been an architect if she’d had the opportunity. She understood. There were clues. When I was 6 she saw/heard me playing with my imaginary friend, Dolney, making objects that had their own script and performance. Then there was the dressing up with my (actual) friend Vivienne; the avant-garde of back garden theatre.

When I got to art school and was let loose in the sculpture department every fibre of my being was alive. I made a sizeable construction, a space modulator to move through and around. A boy who fancied me offered to help carry it to the exhibition space. He dropped it. It broke. I wanted to cry and kill in equal measures.

Forty years on I am less inclined to kill but still compelled to make.

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