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My landscape pieces reflect the natural environments around me. The forest is everchanging and vast in her display, reaching all of your senses, and I attempt to capture the beautiful, everchanging moments before they vanish. I’m also trying to immerse the viewer fully, as if they are watching nature evolve and grow in front of their eyes. I try to arrest an instant in time when water and light relate for a fleeting moment.
I don’t intend to paint a realistic interpretation of the landscape – more an augmented version of light, natural weather changes and the textures of the environment. I want the viewer to imagine what they would see if they turned their head, or could be transported to the vista, wondering if this is a real location or evocative of somewhere that I, or they, have truly visited.
I predominantly work in oil, and occasionally pastel and watercolor, for their abilities to blend. I find this works for my practice as I can keep coming back, working and developing my pieces. Occasionally a piece will come to life alla prima, and be complete, but usually I will have several pieces on the go at once in various stages of drying, waiting for the next layer to emerge. Landscapes are layers and I like to build the story over time, like nature herself. My muted palette is intentional and the idea of developing, rolling and blending just like weather changes and strengths reflects my approach to painting in general and is also reflected in one of my favourite quotes by Picasso, “I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”
The forest and surrounding area is unruly and wild, she's a tempest we can’t control and all we can do is embrace it. My mediums allow me to be expressive and create instinctively. It’s an evolving process, with blending materials, that reflect nature's ever-changing character. I paint intuitively and I do take photos for reference, though never seem to use them accurately, just for light and color guides. Even when I start a piece with the intention of recreating an actual location I get lost in the process, in almost a fugue-like state, and then step back to look at a completely imagined scene.
As well as painting, I'm restoring our 130-year-old home and gardens in the Sherbrooke Forest.
I’m constantly inspired by the fleeting, itinerant and ever-changing settings of nature around me. It’s exactly those moments that I want to capture in my viewer’s eye. I do this so that we have a way to hold on to them, before they fade or vanish. I hope to plunge the observer of my work into the vast and boundless, landscape scenes, viewing a snapshot moment of time as well as an evolving and changing one that develops before our eyes. I want this reflection of imagination and freedom in my work to inspire the same in my audience to think vastly and seek travel.
Kelly's artworks communicate to all the senses and working predominantly in oil Kelly finds her medium complements her practice as she can keep coming back, developing the paintings, adding depth and nuance.
Kelly has recently been a finalist in the 2022 Art to Art Unearthed Prize, and the 2023 Salon Des Refuses for the Lethbridge Small Scale Award and Harden Art Prize. Kelly was a category winner at the 2022 Biblio Art Prize and in the 2023 Art Red Hill Prize.
Up Gallery acknowledges the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which we gather to share art and creative community,. We acknowledge Aboriginal connection to creative practice on these lands for more than 65,000 years and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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