Laura Kelly: Shouty Snow Echo

Monday 21 March – Saturday 30 April 2022
Laura Kelly: Shouty Snow Echo | Monday 21 March – Saturday 30 April 2022 | Mermaid Arts Centre
――― In venue ―――

In Shouty Snow Echo, Wicklow artist Laura Kelly uses an experimental approach to drawing to evoke imaginary snow-covered, transient and uncertain landscapes.

In the exhibition, she employs assemblages of materials in a large drawing installation which combines both abstract and representational elements. Aspects of the pictorial landscape tradition – for example the horizon line, vignettes, panoramas and vistas –  feature in work that alludes to snow-cover and its role in creating ambiguity in our perception of a landscape.

This work is the culmination of research in expansive snow-covered landscapes during Winter Residency Awards at the Banff Centre, Canada (2016) and Vermont Studio Center, USA (2018).

A number of elements come into play. A drifting point of view; shifts in scale from large to small, near and far; the use of ephemeral materials; a fragile sense of attachment; and drawing that crosses two spatial systems – the wall surface and the surface of objects attached to the wall.

The artist invites us to reconsider the experience of landscape as something elusive and uncontainable. Framing is discarded. In contrast to our world of digital devices and their rectangular viewing formats, her work ruptures the conventional way of looking and spills beyond any attempt at proposing boundaries in much the same way that Nature defies containment. Kelly’s use of fragments of fluorescent colour alludes to both human intrusion in the wilderness as well as visual perceptual processes in expansive landscapes – a hierarchy of seeing that prioritises colour, form and motion in that order.

The exhibition also includes a series of short experimental animations exploring transience and perceptual ambiguity. Made using a hand-drawn aesthetic, they defy immediate comprehension of place and offer no fixed point of view.

Writer’s Response

A text by Wicklow native James Merrigan has been commissioned to accompany the exhibition. Reflecting on the installed work, this will be published online and as a free gallery handout before the end of April.

Laura Kelly has a BA in Fine Art (Painting) NCAD, MA in Visual Arts Practice (IADT) and MA in Image Synthesis & Computer Animation (Middlesex University, UK). She also holds a BA in Natural Sciences from TCD.

Solo exhibitions include ‘Fleeting’, 126 Gallery, Galway (2017);  ‘Prospect’, Limerick City Gallery (2012); ‘Prospect ll’, The Drawing Project, IADT, Dun Laoghaire (2012); and ‘A Point Faraway’, Talbot Gallery Dublin (2008).  She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Ireland and the UK. Her work is held in the collections of the OPW, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council, Wicklow County Council, Tallaght Hospital and in private collections in Ireland and the UK.

Kelly is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including Vermont Studio Center (2018) The Banff Centre for Creativity, Canada, (2016) and Fire Station Artist Studios Sculpture Award, (2018). Grant awards include the Arts Council Agility Award (2021); Arts Council Covid Award (2020), Arts Council Travel & Training Awards 2018 and 2016 and Wicklow County Council Artist Bursaries (2018, 2015).

Monday 21 March – Saturday 30 April 2022
Mermaid Arts Centre
Main Street, Bray
Co. Wicklow
Telephone: +353 1 2724030
Opening hours / start times:
Monday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission / price: Free

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