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Tom McDonagh (b. 1985, UK) is a visual artist working in London. 

Tom became an artist in New York, performing shadow puppetry in small downtown theaters. He has developed unique approaches to working with light and movement to create engulfing installations and smaller artworks. He often works collaboratively and facilitates artist-led spaces.

My practice looks at the space between how things are and how things could be. I create speculative installations using light, movement and silhouette, seeking a meeting place for our perception, imagination and politics. These psychological spaces explore our tangled feelings around the potential and peril of emerging futures.

The ecological crisis is connected to a narrowing of our collective imagination towards the future. My practice asks how we actively repair and cultivate relations with one another and the biosphere. I look towards exuberance in culture and nature, as both protest and antidote to our current malaise.


Beware of our Appetites, 2023 (Degree Show, Royal College of Art)

'We're Not Dead Yet' Tea Stand, 2023 (Brink Exhibition, The Hanger Gallery at the Royal College of Art)

There was a country lost, 2023 (Artist publication, in collaboration with 9 MA sculpture students)

Eight Definitions of Destruction, 2022 (Degree Dissertation, with distinction award)

Killing Time, 2022 (WIP Show, Royal College of Art)

Transplant, 2020 with Cecilia Mandrill (MET Gallery, Budapest and publication with Centre for Print Research, UWE)

Apart, in every direction, 2019 (Moving Object Group, Bristol)

Aberrations, 2015 with Eva Ullrich (Arnolfini & Royal Academy of the West of England, Bristol)

Voyage to the Skies, 2011 (St. Ann’s Warehouse (USA, Brooklyn) and American National Puppetry Festival)


Awards and Residencies

Gane Trust Award (Bristol), 2022

Wearegrowth Award, WECA (UK), 2021

Lockleaze Light Project R&D, Bristol City Council, 2018

Studio Resident, JSA Studios (Bristol), 2015

Sky Academy Arts Fellow, Sky Arts (London), 2014

Studio Resident, The Barbican Centre's Fish Island Labs (London), 2014

Studio Resident, Watershed (Bristol), 2012

Puppet Lab Participant, Henson Foundation (New York), 2011

Rockefeller University Graduate Scholarship (New York), 2009-2014

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