Body of Work Study: Deborah Kelly
Deborah Kelly, born 1962, is an Australian mixed media artist who works in a multiplicity of areas, namely public art featurettes, sculptures, collages and political collaborations. Despite not producing any works that have been internationally regarded, Kelly’s cross-media projects have encouraged public discussion concerning many important issues facing contemporary Australia. From photographing cityscapes to street-level sculptures, her works involve exchanges between artwork and audience, in which she actively welcomes participation. Recently, Kelly has been constructing convoluted, abstract, collage-based works, and it is one of these works, from her Tender Cuts series, that has been selected for analysis, entitled ‘Encyclical From The Right Hand’. Kelly often bases her works on social topics currently being looked at in Australian media, and regards the female figure as beautiful, regardless of size, shape or ethnicity. Despite focusing on topics that are widespread, Kelly also looks at less mainstream topics, as she sees it meaningless to move with the masses. Being uninfluenced by politics, and having no connections to religion, Kelly produces each of her works with no personal bias, other than simply challenging the popular opinions regarding various topics. Educated at a mixed-gender school herself, Kelly grew up aware of social expectations of women from various standpoints, and bases many of her works against these expectancies, as she is a strong believer in personal definition of character. Working mostly in collages, Kelly experiments with a variety of “materials” she wishes to use for each new layer of each collage, however she prefers attributing natural elements such as leaves, butterflies and pinecones as she feels the colours of each layer must work in harmony with one another. In the process of creating a new work, Kelly will take a series of photographs of her model – usually in contorted positions –...
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