Artist of the Week: Angie McEvilly

Malala, the young girl shot by the Taliban for wanting an education. Part of Angie's current exhibition

My name is Angie McEvilly and although I am forty one,  I have only been working on my art for about five years.

After leaving a controlling relationship I could no longer work nights at my job and had to leave to bring up three young girls alone. My mind needed something; maybe I needed to revisit my self as I was as a child, and a talent that I had not practiced, became my saviour.
I applied to Liverpool Community College to study art and I have never looked back. Self doubt has a way of mentally piercing me as I listened to too much negativity in the past and it felt like my ghosts reoccured,on a daily basis. Being dyslexic was also a big frustration but I was determined to let out what is naturally in me, my art.
I wanted to inspire my daughters to understand that life in Liverpool was not all about benefits and no hope.
Although it has been a few years since I left college, I have never stopped working. In fact, I no longer use a brush to paint, but paint with my hands. I have been told my paintings have a raw originality, and I know that they can never be copied as I feel like my DNA is my signature to every one of my pieces. Sometimes my fingers have bled while I have been lost in creating these images.
'The Sip of Life' is part of the John Moores Painting Prize competition
‘The Sip of Life’ is part of the John Moores Painting Prize competition

This year I feel that I have a large enough body of work to stand proudly next to and take the first steps as an aspiring artist. My piece ‘The Sip of Life’ has been entered into the John Moores Painting Prize competition, and on mentioning this to other relatively unknown artists, they told me that it was a waste of time as the judges always choose artists that are better known to them.So I wrote to John Moores and questioned them about this. Their answer was that they do not practice in this way, and all entrants are treated equally..

My next venture was to create at least ten large paintings which I have been working on for my upcoming exhibition at Blackburne House. I have been working delicately, as the place I will be showing my work, has Muslim women studying there and in respect to them there must be no nude pieces.
The co-ordinator of the exhibition suggested to me to try the theme of strong women, and I have created many pieces which include images of  Yoko Ono, Rosa Parks, Kitty of the poor, Oprah Winfrey as the statue of Liberty, Aung San Suu Kyi, The Women of Black Burne house, Doreen Lawrence (Steven Lawrence’s mother) and also (a big one for me) Anne Williams, Anglina Jolie, Clair Dove and my next piece will be Malala Yousalzai. As you can see all of these women are very inspirational and educational, especially for the younger generation, as I do hope this exhibition will be used more than once.
I research all of my subjects using film footage and by reading about them on the internet. I try to find the colors I want to use to fit the personality, as I have to have a feel for the character I am studying.  All of my works are created using my fingers, and all are acrylic on canvas.
Part of Angie's upcoming 'Women of Strength' exhibition
Part of Angie’s upcoming ‘Women of Strength’ exhibition

Feeling confident I have recently applied to Hope University to study a BA hons in Fine art and have been accepted, so I am excited and nervous to be leaving my job and going back into full time study.

I do hope that I inspire other people on my journey into the art world. I know that it is very competitive and also  not a place for the shy. My eldest daughter is proof that if you inspire your children they can do well, as she has just been offered a job with Sony.
Now I have breathed life into my creative ability I could and would not ever turn off that flowing tap. I have a large amount of work from fine art to digital and will be pushing myself hard to gain my place amongst the talented artist in Liverpool.
Angie currently has some paintings on display at The Gallery, Stanley Road, Bootle and also has an upcoming exhibition this month – look out for more details only on Art in Liverpool.


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