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Madeleine Kelly is an Australian painter living and working from Woolongong Australia.
Madeleine Kelly, Painter, Artist,
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Madeleine Kelly: Open Studio, Queensland Art Gallery

Madeleine Kelly Elective affinities 2020 Wax, resin and pigment on glassware Various, approx 27 glassware pieces 159.2 cm x 37.5 cm x 45 cm in Madeleine Kelly: Open Studio 2020 Installation shot Queensland Art Gallery (10 October 2020 – 31 January 2021) Photograph: Chloe Callistemon

Madeleine Kelly Elective Affinities 2020 Wax, resin and pigment on glassware Various, approx 27 glassware pieces 159.2 cm x 37.5 cm x 45 cm  Photograph: Chloe Callistemon (Scroll down for details)

 

 

 

Madeleine Kelly Lie in Wait 2020, Oil on board 67 x 44 cm Photograph: Chloe Callistemon

 

 

 

 

 

Madeleine Kelly Structural Affinities 2020 Gesso, varnish and pigment powder on assorted objects Various, approx. 36 assorted objects, ply panels, hardwood dowels 159.2 cm x 37.5 cm x 45 cm in Madeleine Kelly: Open Studio 2020 Installation shot Queensland Art Gallery (10 October 2020 – 31 January 2021) Photograph: Chloe Callistemon (Scroll down for details)

 

 

IMAGES BELOW Madeleine Kelly: Open Studio 2020 Installation shots, Queensland Art Gallery (10 October 2020 – 31 January 2021) Photographs: Chloe Callistemon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMAGES BELOW Madeleine Kelly Structural affinities (details) 2020 Photographs: Chloe Callistemon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMAGES BELOW Madeleine Kelly Elective affinities (deatil) 2020 Wax, resin and pigment on glassware Various, approx 27 glassware pieces 159.2 cm x 37.5 cm x 45 cm   Photograph: Chloe Callistemon Photographs: Chloe Callistemon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madeleine Kelly Elective affinities 2020 Wax, resin and pigment on glassware Various, approx 27 glassware pieces 159.2 cm x 37.5 cm x 45 cm in Madeleine Kelly: Open Studio 2020 Installation shot Queensland Art Gallery (10 October 2020 – 31 January 2021) Photograph: Chloe Callistemon

 

 

5. Axis of Dream is a painting of a girl embracing a horse by madeleine Kelly shown at Ipswich Art Gallery Milani Gallery

What the centre cannot hold Ipswich Gallery 2019

Stair Ghost is a painting of the figure from an exit sign by madeleine Kelly shown at Ipswich Art Gallery Milani Gallery
Stair Ghost 2019 oil on polyester 137 x 101cm
Madeleine Kelly What the Centre Cannot Hold. Ipswich Art Gallery 2019
What the Centre Cannot Hold. Ipswich Art Gallery 2019
1. Window bandit is a painting of potters wasps by madeleine Kelly shown at Ipswich City Gallery Milani Gallery
Window bandit 2019 oil on canvas 71 x 51 cm
5. Axis of Dream is a painting of a girl embracing a horse by madeleine Kelly shown at Ipswich Art Gallery Milani Gallery
Axis of Dream 2018 oil on polyester  152 x 111.5 cm
2019 Ipswich Gallery View
2. The Passengers is a painting of aeroplane passengers based on Peruvian textile by madeleine Kelly shown at Ipswich Art Gallery Milani Gallery Artist profile magazine
The Passengers 2019 oil on canvas and wool  textile from Peru 56 x 122 (painting) 168 x 160 cm
2. The Passengers is a painting of aeroplane passengers based on Peruvian textile by madeleine Kelly shown at Ipswich Art Gallery Milani Gallery Artist profile magazine
The Passengers 2019 Oil on canvas 56 x 122 cm
7. No Comfort in the City is a by madeleine Kelly shown at Ipswich Art Gallery Milani Gallery Leipzig LIA
No Comfort in the City 2016 oil on board 32 x 34 cm
Exhibtion View. (l/r) Nature natus 2019 oil on polyester 137 x 101 cm + Silent scream 2019 oil on canvas 66 x 137 cm 
4. Nature natus is a painting by madeleine Kelly shown at Ipswich Art Gallery Milani Gallery
Nature natus 2019 oil on polyester 137 x 101cm

Madeleine Kelly’s Painterly Morphology

 

Now lost somewhere in the annals of art history, it is a lesser known fact that Cubism at the time of its “invention” after 1907 was considered by its exponents and defenders as a realism. Perhaps the diminishment of this notion is because it is so hard to understand or justify. Yet it helps to explain that Cubism was not just a style, it was both a lens and a technique to define the world, to disclose the essences of forms as they existed in both time and space. It also helps to remind us that every major phase of painting has to be conceived in terms of invention, whether that be that of oil paint, one-point-perspective, down to the outlines of bison on a cave wall.

To many artists, a particular approach to painterly style is therefore not just a layer over nature but communion with its mechanisms: the workings of the picture in all its mysterious elements are a mirror to the ineffable operations of nature. Nature as not a spectacle, after all, it is the complex machine that always eludes us because we are both separate from and seamless with it. This is, I think, the best way of approaching Madeleine Kelly’s current work, namely as a means of exposing not just how things in the world are seen, but how it is that they work.

For that reason, it is only natural that this work turns to the vitalism of the artists,philosophers and poets active in the early twentieth century, ranging to the Orphist (Kupka) and Futurist (Balla and Boccioni) artists to Henri Bergson and W. B. Yeats. The title of this suite of works, What the Centre Cannot Hold derives from his poem, “The Second Coming” (1919) which is a warning against the control over the world.Bergson conceived the world and the cosmos as élan vitale, an energetics that emphasised the forces of animation and creation. Sound, movement, propulsion, creation and destruction, must all be seen as interconnected. Look at a cube of sugar, Berson advised, not as an isolated object, but rather conceive of it as the sugar cane before and its dissolution in your cup of coffee afterward. Things are to be seen in terms of their methods of mutation, as causal flow.

Window Bandit may be a coda for the exhibition, two wasps in mirror image, made after the artist witnessed one banging against a window pane. While the anecdotal starting point is a kind of absurdist, Sisyphean hopelessness, the texture and vibrancy of the work tells of something completely different. The angular and swirled layerings of opaque and diaphanous white allow us to sense the movement, the persistence of the insect, the bang on the window-pane, the interplay between different masses. The reflection of the wasp is emblematic of the act of painting itself, as a reflection of all these dynamic forces through abstractions that are resolved as a determinate aesthetic object. Knowing this makes it easier to interpret Silent Scream, a man listening intently to a fragment of a Greco-Roman sculpture, where the scream is not to be taken
literally but more as an exchange between the time past that the sculpture embodies, and what the man is imagining about it.

Kelly’s approach to painting is one that begins with a series of idetic and other sensory compulsions—an aesthetic constellation not unlike a dream, but far more patiently considered—that form the basis of what may transpireon the canvas. These elements are then laid down, with the expectation that the answer to their configuration will come in the struggle requisite to themaking. It is her intention not to start too schematically, but to discover and to resolve. There is something of an evolutionist narrative here, for Nature, too, does not always make the best or the most logical creations, yetthrough time and interaction, some form of resolution takes place.Paintings such as Stair Ghostand No Comfort in the Cityare always a balancing act between understanding what it is to be in and to see the world, and the process of painting itself.

In Axis of Dream, a figure just left of centre stands embedded within some industrial casing, which on second examination turns out to be a horse. Their bodies are not so much intertwined asbeingfused together in communion, the faces of both reserved and calm as a resultless of resignation than of care and kindness. Then, emerging from a shallow field on the right, intercalated with interlocking serpentine pipes, looms the ghost-like shape of another horse coming towards them. Overhead are sprays of orchid-cum-insects, their weightlessness and movement relayed through a rich play of blue graphic diamonds and circles of beige and white. It is a mistake to call these images surreal, except insofar as anything that is vaguely outlandish or unusual can connote a dream. Instead, if there is a more overarching message to be drawn from all of this work it is that yes, we are faced with some very serious problems because of what we have done to our world. And yes, we must find some very big solutions that are logistical and scientific.

But there other strategies afoot, and these are to listen, to wait, to watch, all of which will finally lead us to discover the many silent voices with which the world speaks to us. We will then respond to our world in a more considered way, and with more sensitivity.

Dr Adam Geczy 2018

index pic

SPIN OUT, SPUN IN Milani Gallery 2019

Madeleine Kelly Installation view Spin out, Spun in
Installation view Spin out, Spun in
Me and my rhythm box made by Madeleine Kelly and shown in Spin out, spun in Milani Gallery resembles orphism and Delaunay. reshown in TRACE
Me and my rhythm box 2019 oil and acrylic on polyester 111.5 x 152cm

ARTIST STATEMENT

Spin out, spun in explores the aesthetic potential of circles, light and colour in relation to modernism’s legacy — an inherited, unstable environmental and socioeconomic ground. The title reflects the sense of disorientation associated with the pursuit of material and cosmic idealism in a society gravely ‘high’ on entropy.

Black and Blue kinetic painting of a single spinning disk made by Madeleine Kelly and shown in Spin out, spun in Milani Gallery
Black and Blue 2019 acrylic on polyester and mixed media (kinetic) 80 x 60 cm

In the paintings, modernist tropes are re contextualised to imply the contours of reality, organisms, eyes and their objects. In Me and my rhythm box, figures are inverted and reversed to evoke a syntax suggestive of the contingency of knowledge. The rhythm box suggests ecological movement, the endless repetition of economic systems or a political fight against the direction ‘progress’ is heading.

Mama Ocllo is a large kinetic painting of 16 spinning disks made by Madeleine Kelly and shown at Milani Gallery, printed in artist profile magazine
Mama Ocllo 2019 acrylic on polyester, aluminium composite board, stepper motors 179.4 x 184 cm Technical advisor: John Tonkin

The kinetic work, Mama Ocllo, transforms painting into an immersive spatio-temporal and sonic field. Drawing from the work of James Clerk Maxwell, who employed spinning disks to explore the differences in mixing light and mixing pigments, the work engages with fundamental issues of colour perception that bring aesthetics into the scientific fields of optics and physiology. In Incan mythology, Mama Ocllo, a fertility goddess, taught women the art of spinning thread. Her magical pre-modern origin reflects the generative revolutions of the structure. In this work, light is a metaphoric thread of vibrant transitions reflected from spinning different parts of the coloured spectrum, yet the harmonic vibration and wailing sound suggests humanity’s low blow on natural systems. This work also finds precedents in recent projects with similar rotating disks by Tobias Rehberger and Olafur Eliasson and references Marcel Duchamp’s Anemic Cinema and Rotoreliefs, and Sonia and Robert Delaunay’s vibrant Orphic compositions.

 

Eye-light assemblage (Painting for Meret) a painting by Madeleine Kelly based on Meret Oppenheim’s work shown at Milani Gallery
Eye-light assemblage (Painting for Meret) 2019 oil and acrylic on polyester 71 x 56 cm
Madeleine Kelly Spin out, Spun in
Installation shot, Spin out, Spun in
Stealing other artist's ideas (Painting for Mike) a painting by Madeleine Kelly of cuckoos based on Mike Kelley’s textile Cocks and Balls
Stealing other artist’s ideas (Painting for Mike) 2019 oil and acrylic on polyester 71 x 56 cm

In the series of bird paintings, colour and vision are interlinked to suggest co evolution and life forces that are ever-responding and mixing at the threshold of our awareness. For instance, In Stealing other artists’ ideas (Painting for Mike), the roosters in Mike Kelley’s Cocks and Balls (1988) textile are replaced with eastern koels. Part of the cuckoo family, the birds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds species who raise the cuckoo chicks as their own. Likewise, by using the archive of art, artists form symbiotic or parasitic relationships with the archive of art.

Canberra birds: Cute craft for the painting archive a series of 17 new abstract sculptures of Canberra birds made of encaustic on Tetra pak
Canberra Birds: Cute craft for the archive of painting 2018-19 Encaustic on cardboard with paper and text. 17 parts ranging from approximately 8 x 11 x 11cm to 27 x 9 x 9cm; installed dimensions variable

In Canberra birds: Cute craft for the painting archive, part of an ongoing series examining the spectra of birds, bird patterning and colouration are rendered with encaustic wax painting on Tetra Paks. The time consuming activity is one in which living labour adds value to used packaging. It’s a gesture against the logic of an economic rationalism that deems activities like painting redundant.

Madeleine Kelly, January 2019

Binding Light (Painting for Hilma) a painting by Madeleine Kelly based on Hilma af Klimt’s work shown at Milani Gallery
Binding Light (Painting for Hilma) 2019, Oil and acrylic on polyester 71 x 56cm

1. Colour perception is a heritable characteristic of evolution. Opsin genes encode visual pigments in the eye that bind light. This eye–light assemblage made colour vision possible. See James K. Bowmaker, Evolution of vertebrate visual pigments, Vision Research, Volume 48, Issue 20, 2008, Pages 2022-2041, ISSN 0042-6989, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2008.03.025.

2014-2019 Bird Projects

Madeleine Kelly Spectra of birds 2014-15
 Encaustic on cardboard with paper and text 40 parts ranging from 8 x 11 x 11cm to 27 x 9 x 9cm; installed dimensions variable Purchased 2015 with funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation Collection: Queensland Art Gallery. Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA
Spectra of birds 2014-15
 Encaustic on cardboard with paper and text 40 parts ranging from 8 x 11 x 11cm to 27 x 9 x 9cm; installed dimensions variable Purchased 2015 with funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation Collection: Queensland Art Gallery. Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

This project is an ongoing diary of sorts. In these sculptures painted with encaustic wax, abstract images of birds primarily spotted in Australia are squeezed or trapped into the rectilinear architecture of empty Tetra Paks. The resulting expressionist distortions – angular in shape as determined by the cartons – are half bird and half cultural object, suggesting the continual commodification of nature, a world gradually destroying itself, and the transformation of rubbish. In capitulating to the cartons’ open spouts, the birds embody the phantasmatic property of everyday materials replete with associative meanings of myth and consumerism. Two modes of identity – birds/cartons and art / consumer material – are sustained simultaneously in a single object.

Madeleine Kelly Barren Grounds 2015 Encaustic on cardboard with paper 12 parts ranging from approximately 8 x 11 x 11cm to 9 x 9cm x 23; installed dimensions variable
Barren Grounds 2015 Encaustic on cardboard with paper 12 parts ranging from approximately 8 x 11 x 11cm to 9 x 9cm x 23; installed dimensions variable

From an art-historical perspective, the planes of colour recall the work of Color Field painter Ellsworth Kelly who attributes his minimal colour abstractions and the titles of his works to birdwatching as a young boy with his grandmother. Yet, in contrast to the restraint of formalist colour field painting, these birds might be said to return abstraction to its counterpart in nature, producing effects whereby the different permutations of colour and combinations of form embrace diversity, visual analogy and the aesthetic quality of these remarkable animals. The category depends on the intersection of birds that are seen and are therefore made, but their squashed states also suggest a crisis – those endangered, betrayed or disappeared.

Leipzig birds 2016-17 Encaustic  on cardboard with paper 23 parts ranging from approximately 8 x 11 x 11cm to 27 x 9 x 9cm; installed dimensions variable
Birds of the D’Aguliar Range 2017 Encaustic  on cardboard with paper 14 parts ranging from approximately 8 x 11 x 11cm to 30 x 9 x 9cm; installed dimensions variable. Collection, University of Queensland Art Gallery
Madeleine Kelly Pelagic Birds 2017
Pelagic birds 2017, Encaustic on cardboard with paper and text 23 parts ranging from approximately 8 x 11 x 11cm to 27 x 9 x 9cm; installed dimensions variable Photograph Bernie Fischer.​​
Madeleine Kelly Canberra Birds: Cute craft for the archive of painting 2018-19 Encaustic on cardboard with paper and text. 17 parts ranging from approximately 8 x 11 x 11cm to 27 x 9 x 9cm; installed dimensions variable
Canberra Birds: Cute craft for the archive of painting 2018-19 Encaustic on cardboard with paper and text. 17 parts ranging from approximately 8 x 11 x 11cm to 27 x 9 x 9cm; installed dimensions variable
GOMA QLD publication.
Madeleine Kelly Install shot exhibition Forms of Agency

Forms of Agency 2018 c3 Contemporary Art Space

1. The Pollinator is a painting by Madeleine Kelly featuring pumpkin flowers shown at the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize Milani Gallery
The Pollinator, 2018 Acrylic and oil on polyester 137 x 101cm
Allowable forms and unconscious facts is a painting by Madeleine Kelly, it won the 2018 sunshine coast art prize Milani Judge Dr Campbell Gray
Allowable forms and unconscious facts 2018 Acrylic and oil on polyester 137 x 101cm
3. The brush-tipped tongue of a honeyeater functions in the same way as a paint brush is a painting by Madeleine Kelly Milani Gallery
The brush-tipped tongue of a honeyeater functions the same way as a paint brush 2018 Acrylic and oil on polyester 137 x 101cm
2. How to look at a hexagon is a painting by Madeleine Kelly on army tarpaulin two people embrace shown C3 Contemporary art space Milani GalleryMadeleine Kelly How to look at a hexagon 2018 acrylic and oil on tarpaulin 115 x 125 cm
How to look at a hexagon 2018 acrylic and oil on tarpaulin 115 x 125 cm
How to look at a hexagon 2018, Acrylic and oil on polyester, 115 x 125 cm
Struggling with the honeyeaters is a painting by Madeleine Kelly about the earths carrying capacity shown C3 Contemporary art space Milani Gallery
Struggling with the honeyeaters 2018, Acrylic and oil on polyester, 137 x 101cm

Inspired by the symbolic elements and motifs that encode Peruvian textile imagery with meaning and compositional logic, these paintings evoke a sense of the known through their interconnected patterns and typological imagery. By working within the constraints of certain geometric patterns, I challenge myself to formally interlace richly complex ways of seeing and knowing. This iconographic system allows me to connect abstract, expressive and representational painting in such a way that inter-iconic relationships emerge and give rise to a multitude of different aesthetics. At times, resulting crystalline effects extend living forms into geology and the irregular geometry of my previous works. The paintings present structural affinities between the figures and their grounds that suggest forms of knowing are contingent on the conditions from which they emerge. The title of the exhibition – Forms of Agency – reflects this relationship between textiles, painting and agency.

 

The paintings hence bring disparate fields together via geometric abstraction. Geometric motifs suggest how knowledge includes and excludes, and is shaped and built. Their separating lines provide me with a space to explore how forms can both shape and are shaped by structures, including ideological ones, such as the utopian promise of consumer culture. Each painting features the trace of a domestic object that appears as a 1:1 blueprint or diagram and corresponds to our corporeal expectations. Their structures inspire analogy and give rise to metaphor and association, and are a counterpoint to the physicality of my bird sculptures, which were squeezed into the rectilinear formations of Tetra Paks. The process of finding forms and weaving imagery into their patterns is my way of understanding the world, of continuously determining relations.

 

The Pollinator was initially inspired by the act of pollinating pumpkin flowers using my paintbrush. Afterwards I spent time admiring their forms while drawing them onto isomorphic paper. By making them conform to the triangular matrix their wilted petals appeared as sections of faceted crystal vessels or wombs, while their whole forms also reminded me of Giacomo Balla’s futurist flowers. The brush that enabled the flower to bear fruit was the same one that painted them. Yet in the image the brush appears as axe – as taker. The mineral and geometric structures allow the composition to grow like crystalline life forms. These structures become the vital life of the painting, crossing categories between human, plant and cultural object, while the doubling of archetypal figures and mythic architecture suggests genealogy and the fragmented mirroring of meaning through time.

 

Allowable forms and unconscious facts features the trace of a domestic oven that appears as a 1:1 blueprint or diagram and corresponds to our corporeal expectations. Its structure inspires analogy and give rise to metaphor and association. Circular stovetop plates resemble an egg, eyes and breasts while a slumped head, confronted by an eyeball/balloon/sperm, points to a troubled developmental stage for humanity. Bodily connotations ride on domestic ones.

Madeleine Kelly 2017 Diversity and Demise Encounters with pelagic birds and sub-linguistic form Wollongong City Gallery 11 February - 14 May

Diversity and demise Wollongong City Gallery 2017

Madeleine Kelly 2017 Diversity and Demise Encounters with pelagic birds and sub-linguistic form Wollongong City Gallery 11 February - 14 May
2017 Diversity and Demise Encounters with pelagic birds and sub-linguistic form Wollongong City Gallery
The Trawler 2017, acrylic and oil on polyester 213 x 167cm
Port Kembla, 2016, oil on gesso board 32 x 42.5cm
Madeleine Kelly, Leipzig birds, 2017, encaustic on cardboard with painted paper mounted on Aluminium sheet 176 x 116cm Photograph Bernie Fischer
Leipzig birds 2017 encaustic on cardboard with painted paper mounted on Aluminium sheet 176 x 116cm Photograph Bernie Fischer

The works in Diversity and Demise: Encounters with pelagic forms and sub-linguistic forms advances my research with respect to typographical forms by learning from documentation I have made of Peruvian and Mexican art. Forms evolve within the order of geometric patterns. This new compositional method is a significant shift in my work, allowing me to depict narratives as though they are part of a complex geometric iconographic system. The works test typographic abstraction, sublinguistic forms and display.

While painting remains core, my practice is enhanced by interrelationships with other mediums. For instance, my approach to figurative abstraction can be seen in the architectonic forms of my bird sculptures, whose bodies are determined by distorted Tetra Paks. Increasingly, I critique painting as a form of knowledge that refers to itself and questions its own limits.

 

The Trawler 2017
The Trawler is a portrait of human identity and hunger for power. The central figure, shown commanding the space, is an awkward giant with arms that terminate in fishhooks. Her head – a crane that bows clumsily and shamefully over her colossal body – denotes the utilitarian mentality of industrialised fishing, or any factory farming for that matter. Certain geometry abides. Scintillating blocks of colour accumulate throughout her monumental torso, encoding a human face. The motif of the face is repeated, but with each repetition increasingly erased. Around her figure, squares and diamonds form the foundation for ascending albatross. In the background, fishing vessels composed of flat blocks are inspired by artist Kazimir Malevich’s approach to abstraction. My approach to geometric abstraction also recalls the different colour combinations and permutations in the textile iconography of Cusco, Peru, and formally connects to my bird sculptures. The fishing vessel at the top of the painting is based on an image of the Atlantic Dawn, weighing 14 055 tones was the world’s biggest factory trawler to plunder African fish stocks in 2003.

 

Port Kembla 2016
Port Kembla is a bleak image of the Port Kembla steelworks in which coke ovens, steel-making buildings, stacks, a conveyer gallery and billowing steam serve as structural devices of confinement for abstract figures. At night, gas flares tint the hazy sky peach-pink. A couple convey my perceptual experience of this unique architectural space. With flat square heads carved out of a single brushstroke, the couple possess a haunted air, as if existing solely to inhabit the border that separates real dramatic industry and painted space. Their surreal partnership is watched by a solitary figure. Abstract wedges mirror the perspectival extremes in this inspiring architecture. I love its measured eccentricity and archaic beauty.

Leipzig International Art Program 2016

Existential Needs 2016 Oil stick on fabric, 17 parts ranging from 86 x 138 cm to 155 x 125; installed dimensions variable  
Madeleine Kelly Existential Needs 2016 Oil stick on fabric, 17 parts ranging from 86 x 138 cm to 155 x 125; installed dimensions variable
Existential Needs 2016 Oil stick on fabric, 17 parts ranging from 86 x 138 cm to 155 x 125; installed dimensions variable

Existential Needs

When researching the history of the Leipzig Spinnerei’s cotton production and the role of the women who worked in the mill, I was drawn to experimenting with woven fabrics. I made a series of 18 frottages of kitchen stoves (küchenherd) on wool, cotton and nylon. Each image appears as a 1:1 blueprint or diagram and corresponds to our corporeal expectations. As a collection, they resemble skins, eyes and breasts, and also appear as human bodies. Their rather rigid typology suggests a canon of allowable forms to which our bodies are forced to conform, as well as the labour of the female body – as domestic, ruled and sexual.

Existential Needs 2016 Oil stick on fabric, 17 parts ranging from 86 x 138 cm to 155 x 125; installed dimensions variable

The installation Existential Needs extends the surrealist content in my work. In this piece, I use frottage – a surrealist and ‘automatic’ method of creating images – to make rubbings of many stoves’ textured surfaces using oil stick on fabric. We see human bodies as stoves, and stoves as human bodies through visual analogies between the cultural artefact, that is the stove, and the natural form of the female body. The stove, which is traditionally a site associated with female labour, here literally becomes embodied into a sort of psychological and material skin. As art theorist Hans Belting suggests, in pictures, the skin of the body and the skin of the image are connected as a triad of image, body and medium. To extend the idea of the embodied image, I am working on a series of robe-like dresses for a performance in which figures are dressed as I am in the images above. These actors will further animate the traditional dualism between soul and the labour of the body.

Madeleine Kelly Existential Needs 2016 Oil stick on fabric, 17 parts ranging from 86 x 138 cm to 155 x 125; installed dimensions variable
Existential Needs (detail) 2016 Oil stick on fabric
Madeleine Kelly Existential Needs (detail) 2016 Oil stick on fabric
Existential Needs (detail) 2016 Oil stick on fabric, 17 parts ranging from 86 x 138 cm to 155 x 125; installed dimensions variable

Cooking Culture

The paintings in Cooking Culture depict dream-like settings inspired by the collage method. Figurative elements are set on transforming grounds to convey the constant flux, contradiction and entropy created in a ‘consuming’ world.

Madeleine Kelly Cooking Culture
Madeleine Kelly Cooking Culture
Words 39 x 32cm. Pic by WalherLeKOn
Matrix 34 x 27.5cm. Pic by WalherLeKOn
Blue Village 27 x 38cm. pic Walther LeKon
Grotesque Horse 27.5 x 34cm Pic by WalherLeKOn
Port Kembla 35 x 42.5cm Pic by WalherLeKOn
No Comfort in the City 32 x 34cm. Pic by WalherLeKOn
Squares in Perspective 155 x 175cm. Pic by WalherLeKOn
Madeleine Kelly Squares in Perspective 155 x 175cm
Squares in Perspective (installation view) 155 x 175cm
Madeleine Kelly Rock Poem 2013 engraved beach stone with cross contour of quartz

The Surface of Language Griffith University Webb Gallery 2013

The Surface of Language seeks to embody the rubs between words and images, as well as the creation and destruction of knowledge. It informs and is informed by the work in other media, and used as its starting point a collection of stones containing a distinct line, or vein, of quartz. This ‘law of the line’, combined with the form of the stone, was used to conceive the symbolic references.

Madeleine Kelly Rock Poem
Rock Poem 2013 engraved beach stone with cross contour of quartz
Madeleine Kelly Rock Poem 2013 engraved beach stone with cross contour of quartz
Rock Poem 2013 engraved beach stone with cross contour of quartz

The surface of language rock poem 14

Smoten/broken/bloody/sea-sons/ greed/betokens/stub-born/reason
Full/fall/cat/call/worry/some/wind-wall
Scarcity/sabotage/curator/massage
To cross/to draw/to underscore
The/logic/of /an/uproar
Ideal/star/eyed/to/mark/+/blow
That/monu-meant/for/none/to/know
Now/threshing/floors/carry/his-story/too
Hands/that/tore/a-part/the/earth
Hands/that/bombed/like/terns
Awoke/an/eye/a/seed/like/egg
This/blinking/globe/embedded/red

Rock Poem - Scarcity 2013 engraved beach stone with cross contour of quartz
Rock Poem - Scarcity 2013 engraved beach stone with cross contour of quartz

The work is a creative response to philosopher Michel Foucault’s ideas about imagination:

“And in fact imagination has nothing to do with forms or formation … we might rather describe the manifestations of the imagination as de-formation … while the imagination de-forms, it never destroys”

Behind That Dusk Green Plane I 2013 acrylic on army tarpaulin 97 x 71 cm. pic Mick Richards
Exodus 2013 oil on gesso board 41 x 34cm
Truncated Shelter 2013 oil on gesso board 34 x 41cm

Ten Years of Contemporary Art QAGOMA 2012

James Sourris AM Collection

'Ten Years of Contemporary Art: The James C Sourris AM Collection' Exhibition view

These large-scale oil paintings depict the transformation of material or matter; that is, the relationship between subject and form, as well as the consumption of the natural world, albeit obliquely. The works explore the materiality of things at the same time as evoking translucent and transparent forms, outlines, shadows and parts that function as sub-units; for example, the diffusive layered tissues of membranes. Layers of oil paint build up strata, superimposed to create narratives that explore diversity, analogy, fragmentation and the grotesque as positive tropes.

 

From an art-historical perspective, two of the works quote the language of the Symbolists who were also concerned with energy and entropy, namely the first and second laws of thermodynamics. These earlier works interweave signifiers of culture, such as cars and fighter jets with natural forms (desert storm camouflage, fine fossil plant structures, terns and swallows). Two more recent works, Protean World (2010) and Dream Weapon (2010) – one the bride of the other, one vertical and one horizontal, one internal and one external – are of the same crevice taken from opposite angles. These later works continue to focus on conflating myth, archaeology and natural resources.

Madeleine Kelly Hollow Mark 2011

Hollow Mark Griffith University Art Gallery 2011

Madeleine Kelly Plastic Continuity (detail) 2011 oil on polyester 180 x 270cm
Plastic Continuity (detail) 2011 oil on polyester 180 x 270cm

The works in Hollow Mark are partly inspired by contemporary considerations of where painting might begin or end. The title is drawn from Michel Foucault’s The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969) and suggests absence, gaps in knowledge, and things that are unspoken. The work also seeks to test light’s capacity to represent human relations to environments both natural and artificial, as a process of accumulation; an archaeology of being.

Madeleine Kelly Hollow Mark 2011
Madeleine Kelly Hollow Mark 2011
Madeleine Kelly Split Unity 2011 oil on polyester 180 x 160 cm
Split Unity 2011 oil on polyester 180 x 160 cm
Madeleine Kelly Pitting Against the Core of Me 2011 oil on board 39 x 32 cm
Pitting Against the Core of Me 2011 oil on board 39 x 32 cm

The painting uses the image-laden aspects of Foucault’s archaeological metaphor imaginatively to explore complex ways of seeing and knowing. This visual-aesthetic translation of Foucault’s archaeological method is not without irony. Formally, the works contain anamorphic distortion, an emphasis on rupture, treacherous doubling and discontinuity, all arranged as ‘archaeological constellations’.

Finders Keepers 201 oil on polyester 68 x 135cm
Finders Keepers 201 oil on polyester 68 x 135cm
Weight of the World 2011 oil on fibreglass resin two panels; each 300 x 100cm
The Grotesque 2011 oil on board 34 x 41cm
The Grotesque 2011 oil on board 34 x 41cm
Erscheinen 2010 Installation: pinpricked Foamcore, light, 294 x 234 x 490cm (In the distance, Structure for Evermore 2011 Installation: motors, lights, sailcloth, sponges, 180 x 270cm
Erscheinen 2010 Installation: pinpricked Foamcore, light, 294 x 234 x 490cm (In the distance, Structure for Evermore 2011 Installation: motors, lights, sailcloth, sponges, 180 x 270cm
Lux’n’Lumen 2010 Foam core, light 47 x 38cm
Lux’n’Lumen 2010 Foam core, light 47 x 38cm
The Jaguar’s Descent 2009 incandescent box, pinpricked foam core 49 x 33cm
The Jaguar’s Descent 2009 incandescent box, pinpricked foam core 49 x 33cm
Edgar Street 2011 pinpricked Foamcore, light 40 x 60cm
Edgar Street 2011 pinpricked Foamcore, light 40 x 60cm