As a regional artist based in Northern New South Wales, Dan McDonnell shares a sense of detachment from the cultural museums and exhibitions offered within the major capital cities. Perhaps this suggests why the 'screen' has continually re-emerged as a central theme within his studio practice.


Primarily working on transparent substrates, McDonnell exploits the transparency and depth of Plexiglass to produce a 'holographic' quality that 'animates' the picture plane when viewed from different positions. This draws attention to the viewer's relation to the sculptural and chance elements of the work, and, more importantly, to the natural and unnatural mix of light in the space exhibited.


As a phenomenological examination of screen-based environments and the radiant effects produced via the backlit screen, his work carries on from the traditions of painting light, situating the luminous qualities of the screen as integral to today’s contemporary language of the digital.




Dan was selected to exhibit in the 2015 Hatched National Graduate Show held at PICA - Perth Institute of Contemporary Art. He was the winner of the 2014 National Campus Art Prize held at COFA as well as the Kaske Memorial Fellowship allowing him to travel and work in Berlin for Gallery Week, and more recently has been confirmed to continue research for his PhD.





Dan McDonnell


1983 Born Adelaide, South Australia





2018 - PhD Candidature Confirmed


2017 - PhD granted APA Australian Post Graduate Award


2015 - Completed BVA (Honours) Southern Cross University, NSW





2016 - Finalist Albany Art Prize, WA


2016 - Winner - Kaske Memorial Fellowship (1 month in Berlin for Gallery Week)


2015 - Finalist Clifton’s Art Prize, QLD


2015 - Winner - SCU Honours Exhibition (judged by Dr Leigh Summers, Director of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery), NSW


2015 - Finalist – Hatched – PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Art), WA


2014 - Winner - National Campus Art Prize, University of NSW (COFA)


2014 - Granted the Uni Life Award for Excellence in the Arts


2014 - Finalist - Winsor and Newton, Liquitex and Conte a Paris Start Your Studio Scholarship


2014 - Finalist - Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Painting, QLD


2013 - Winner - Bentley Art Prize – Emerging Artist, Painting


2013 - Highly Commended - Bentley Art Prize – Painting


2012 - Highly Commended - Coraki Art Prize – Painting


2012 - Finalist - Sidewayz Exhibition, Sydney



Solo Exhibitions


2019 - (Upcoming) Exhibition of New Work - Lismore Regional Gallery


2015 - Touch Screen, Lone Goat Gallery, Byron Bay



Selected Group Exhibitions


2018 - Catalogue.jpeg ::New Works by Lars Borgdorff


2017 - Second Dimension Group Show, Temp ARI, Byron Bay


2015 - Hatched National Graduate Exhibition, (PICA) Curated by Nadia Johnson


2015 - Abstract Wonder, Grafton Regional Gallery, Curated by Dr. Wes Hill


2014 - National Campus Art Prize, UNSW (COFA)


2014 - Selected Works, The Channon Gallery, The Channon NSW


2014 - In Cohorts, Gallery One29, Lismore NSW


2013 - Dark Light Terrain, Gallery One29, Lismore NSW


2013 - Myth and Metaphor, Gallery One29, Lismore NSW


2012 - Selected Works, The Channon Gallery, The Channon NSW


2012 - Sidewayz, Global Gallery, Paddington Sydney NSW





2015 Hatched National Graduate Show - PICA