Gillian McConnell was born in Cooma NSW Australia in 1958. She emigrated to Canada in 1964 and grew up in Montréal Québec. Gillian attained a Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons) with a major in etching and a minor in Art History from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario (1980). She subsequently studied Textile Design, Fashion Design, Multimedia, Web Design, Direct Marketing and Picture Framing.
Also a talented textile and graphic artist, Gillian has produced designs for a myriad of end products including corporate Identity, promotional material, websites, fashion fabrics, custom-made rugs and tourist merchandise. Gillian’s rug designs appeared in several magazines including a feature article in the Australian Good Housekeeping, February 1987.
Gillian began painting in 1997 and developed a unique visual signature incorporating drawing and collage. An interdisciplinary artist, she creates message-driven work in a variety of media, choosing the medium to fit the message.
In 2009, Gillian co-founded OXOgraphy, a conceptual art collective. She has applied her curatorial skills to the conception, staging and promotion of many successful group and solo exhibitions since 1998, including a critically successful, inaugural OXOgraphy exhibition in 2012.
After winning several prizes in regional art exhibitions in Australia, Gillian was awarded 1st prize in The Underlying Spirit: An Homage to Emily Carr, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (2011).
Gillian lives and works on Salt Spring Island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, where she has developed a following for her workshops in expressive drawing, abstraction, composition and critique. Gillian also does picture framing, volunteers for the Salt Spring Arts Council, writes poetry, runs with Salt Spring Sneakers and plays music.