Angus McDonald is an established Australian contemporary visual artist who has been exhibiting across Australia and internationally for 25 years. He began filmmaking in 2017 as part of social advocacy project he created called Howling Eagle, which promotes the adoption of humanitarian approaches to support those seeking asylum.
His 2019 documentary, MANUS, is his first standalone film. It was awarded Best Documentary at the 2019 St. Kilda Film Festival, qualifying for automatic eligibility for selection for the 2020 Academy Awards in the Documentary Short category.
After graduating with an Economics degree from the University of Sydney, McDonald enrolled at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney. He was awarded the the school's Brett Whiteley Scholarship in 1994 & was selected as a finalist in the NSW Travelling Art Scholarship in the same year. After completing his studies, McDonald moved to the small island of Leros in Eastern Greece, and afterwards to Italy, continuing his studies at the Florence Academy of Art in 1999 and 2000.
Since 1995, McDonald has staged over 30 solo exhibitions in Australia, Greece, Japan & the UK, & shown in group exhibitions and art fairs across Australia, South-East Asia, Canada, the United States and Europe. In 2007, he travelled to Antarctica as the Expedition Artist at the invitation of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation and returned there in 2009. McDonald has been a frequent finalist in numerous national art awards including Australia’s biggest art competition, the Archibald Prize, where he has been selected as a finalist on five occasions: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 and this year, 2019 with his portrait of inclusion and diversity campaigner, Mariam Veiszadeh. McDonald is also an Ambassador for World Vision’s KidsOffNauru campaign.
In 2017, McDonald began a film project to advocate for more humanitarian approaches to managing the welfare of forcibly displaced people seeking asylum.His films are created under the name Howling Eagle, and his series titled "Philoxenia" (a Greek word pronounced ‘filo-zenya’ & meaning meaning: 'extending hospitality and friendship to the stranger'), are a selection of short films and interviews about refugee protection across the globe with particular emphasis on current refugee policies in Australia.
He lives with his family in Lennox Head, near Byron Bay in northern NSW.