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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 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

The Crevice Milani Gallery 2010

Dream Weapon is a crevice painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly Ten Years of Contemporary Art: The James C Sourris Collection QAGOMA Milani
Dream Weapon 2010 Oil and aluminium paint on polyester 110 x 170cm

In these works, inspired by a trip to the Kimberley, the crevice functions in a number of conceptual ways; the form of the crevice lends shape to the split, and the dialectic of the split – a term that implies rupture and limitation – is expressed initially through this form. The vertical natural walls of a crevice correspond to built walls; as a site conflating the ‘natural’ and the ‘cultural’, they suggest the cultural structures that enclose us and dictate our paths (such as money and finite resources).

Madeleine Kelly Erscheinen 2010 Installation: pinpricked Foamcore, light , 294 x 234 x 490cm
Erscheinen 2010 Installation: pinpricked Foamcore, light , 294 x 234 x 490cm
Binary Love.
Binary Love 2010 oil on board 43 x 70.5cm
Gathering as Usual 2010 Oil on polyester 110 x 100cm
Gathering as Usual 2010 Oil on polyester 110 x 100cm
Protean world is a crevice painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly Ten Years of Contemporary Art: The James C Sourris, QAGOMA collection Milani
Protean World 2010 Oil and aluminium paint on polyester 170 x 110cm

Since landscape is the locus upon which we form our collective memory – both the expression of our romanticised national identity and shared history of colonial exploitation – the depiction of the Australian landscape is a site of contestation, being the interface of human activity and exploitation.

The Golden Hour 2010 Oil on board 35 x 17cm
The Golden Hour 2010 Oil on board 35 x 17cm
Mushrooms from my Kelvin Grove Pot Plant 2010 Oil on board 24 x 19cm
Mushrooms from my Kelvin Grove Pot Plant 2010 Oil on board 24 x 19cm
Alchemic Sky 2010 Oil on polyester 76 x 120cm
Spectrum Filling Space Oil on polyester 2010 110 x 110cm
Spectrum Filling Space Oil on polyester 2010 110 x 110cm
Lord of the Earth 2010 Oil and aluminium paint on polyester 170 x 110cm
Lord of the Earth 2010 Oil and aluminium paint on polyester 170 x 110cm

Heavy Heavenly Bodies Milani Gallery 2008

Treatment for Hysteria II 2008 Oil and watercolour on resin 20 x 25cm
Treatment for Hysteria II 2008 Oil and watercolour on resin 20 x 25cm
Madeleine Kelly Consumption 2008 Oil on linen 180 x 270cm
Consumption 2008 Oil on linen 180 x 270cm
Madeleine Kelly What Begins Aloud 2008 Oil on Polyester 120 x 150cm
What Begins Aloud 2008 Oil on Polyester 120 x 150cm
Madeleine Kelly The World as I Know it 2008 Oil on polyester 68 x 135 cm
The World as I Know it 2008 Oil on polyester 68 x 135 cm
Madeleine Kelly Non-Sense 2008 Oil on polyester 25 x 20 cm
Non-Sense 2008 Oil on polyester 25 x 20 cm
Madeleine Kelly Man’s place in the world 2008 Oil on polyester 90 x 115 cm
Man’s place in the world 2008 Oil on polyester 90 x 115 cm
Madeleine Kelly West End Grasshoppers 2008 Oil on polyester 29 x 60 cm
West End Grasshoppers 2008 Oil on polyester 29 x 60 cm
Madeleine Kelly Icarus as Manager 2008 Oil on polyester 110x 170 cm
Icarus as Manager 2008 Oil on polyester 110x 170 cm
Madeleine Kelly Fallout 2008 Oil on linen 180 x 270 cm
Fallout 2008 Oil on linen 180 x 270 cm
Madeleine Kelly Victory Over the Sun 2008 Oil on polyester 133 x 190cm
Victory Over the Sun 2008 Oil on polyester 133 x 190cm
Madeleine Kelly The Boy 2008 Oil on polyester 35 x 28 cm
The Boy 2008 Oil on polyester 35 x 28 cm
Madeleine Kelly Amona 2008 Oil on linen 150 x 240 cm
Amona 2008 Oil on linen 150 x 240 cm
Madeleine Kelly 
The comb of an electron shower 2008 Oil on polyester 90 x 115 cm

The comb of an electron shower 2008 Oil on polyester 90 x 115 cm

The works in Heavy Heavenly Bodies suggest liminal encounters through blurred or hidden identities of forms, where many figures are forsaken but for ghosts. A family processes food under the image of the Doomsday Clock, a lone Jewish settler challenges Israeli security officers at the settlement of Amona (the painting is based on documentary photographer Oded Balilty’s Pulitzer Prize-winning image), and a line of women dressed in national flags reflect current international alliances.

Madeleine Kelly Melted Silver on the sea

Dreams of Utopia Gadens Lawyers 2007

These works explore recurrent themes of energy consumption, processing nature, human folly and progress. Collage methods are used to construct lyrical scenes that suggest alternative realities, where juxtaposed and absent elements create spaces for projection and gaps to be filled. Figures interacting and processing abstract material shapes evoke mythological realms.

Madeleine Kelly Afterglow 2007 Oil on polyester 90 x 115cm
Afterglow 2007 Oil on polyester 90 x 115cm
Madeleine Kelly Melted Silver on the sea
Melted Silver on the Sea 2007 Oil on polyester 100 x 140cm
Madeleine Kelly Harvest Hands
Harvest Hands 2007 Oil on polyester 148 x 200 cm
The Electric Thinking House 2007 Oil on Polyester 200 x 148cm
The Electric Thinking House 2007 Oil on Polyester 200 x 148cm
Blooming Ambassadors 2007 Oil on polyester 25 x 30cm
Gap May be Closed 2007 Oil on polyester 40 x 60cm
Offshoot 2007 Oil on polyester 40 x 60cm
Spaces for Projection 2007 Oil on polyester 30 x 40cm

The Elephants’ Shelter Bellas Milani Gallery 2006

Burning time is a painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly of pine trees collection Artbank Sydney shown at Milani Gallery
Burning Time 2006 Oil on polyester 68 x 135
Madeleine Kelly Wheel of Reason 2006 23 x 28cm Oil on gesso board
Wheel of Reason 2006 23 x 28cm Oil on gesso board

Through a kind of surreal anamorphosis, these paintings reflect our current political reality to expose its hidden side – dreams, desires, hallucination. Thin washes of paint evoke a sense of environmental forecasts – in particular, global warming. Sole figures enact activities in largely uninhabited landscapes; trees morph while nature eerily hangs in strange balance against potential collapse. Many of these works were painted during an Australia Council residency at the Cité Internationale, Paris.

Madeleine Kelly Sunbath 2005 Oil on gesso board 23 x 28cm
Sunbath 2005 Oil on gesso board 23 x 28cm
Madeleine Kelly Pharmacy 2005 Oil on gesso board 23 x 28cm
Pharmacy 2005 Oil on gesso board 23 x 28cm
Madeleine Kelly
Red Dwarf, White Giant 2005 Oil on gesso board 23 x 28cm
Madeleine Kelly The Charcoal Forest 2006 Oil on polyester 68 x 135cm
The Charcoal Forest 2006 Oil on polyester 68 x 135cm
Madeleine Kelly Forewarning 2006 Oil on Canvas 190 x 172cm
Forewarning 2006 Oil on Canvas 190 x 172cm
Madeleine Kelly Installation of paintings Primavera 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Primavera 2005

Pathfinder closing is a painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly shown at Milani, James C Sourris Collection QAGOMA and Primavera 2005.
Pathfinder Closing 2005 Oil on Canvas 240 x 188cm

These works dramatise the familiar in order to create a more seductive dimension, which might cause the viewer to drift elsewhere, to a strange place where worlds collapse and intersect. Nature is depicted as transient and ephemeral within ambiguous environments that reverse or rearrange ordered thinking. Humanity is seen as suspended between aid and attack, or support and threat, while also intrinsically linked to the natural world. Paradoxical relationships between nature and culture emerge.

Madeleine Kelly Installation of paintings Primavera 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Installation of paintings Primavera 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Choreography of war reportage is a painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly shown in Sourris QAGOMA and Primavera 2005 MCA
Choreography of War Reportage 2002 Oil on polyester 185 x 174cm
Lifting a helpless patient is a painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly of deer headed people MCA Primavera 2005 collection Artbank
Lifting a helpless patient oil on polyester 157 x 122 cm
Madeleine Kelly Installation of paintings Primavera 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Installation of paintings Primavera 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Sparky the culture hero is a painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly of deer headed people shown at Milani and MCA primavera 2005
Sparky the culture hero 90 x 115 cm
Madeleine Kelly Installation of paintings Primavera 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Installation of paintings Primavera 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Ground control is a painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly ancient club moss shell oil collection Griffith University MCA primavera 2005
Ground Control oil on polyester 128 x 193 cm
Madeleine Kelly Installation of paintings Primavera 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Installation of paintings Primavera 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Coalface is a painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly Winner, Churchie Exhibition of Emerging Art, Judge: Dr Rex Butler
Coalface 2004 oil on canvas 131.5 x 185.5 cm
MadeleineKelly The Catalyst 2005 oil on polyester 83 x 94cm
The Catalyst 2005 oil on polyester 83 x 94cm
A Job Well Done 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm
A Job Well Done 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm
Artificial respiration is a painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly of dingo headed people shown MCA in primavera 2005 Milani Gallery
Artificial Respiration Second Position 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm
Madeleine Kelly Hydration Tactic 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm
Hydration Tactic 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm
Madeleine Kelly Treatment for Hysteria 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm
Treatment for Hysteria 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm

Inspired by the myths anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss examined in his book The Raw and the Cooked (1964), I have used animals as metaphors for human behaviour. In these Brazilian myths, the deer represents water and is diametrically opposed to the fire, hence its role smouldering fire or pumping water. However, the paintings add a contemporary dimension to these ancient myths by examining an extreme form of cooking: the combustion of fossil fuels.

Each of these works contains mediations between raw nature (oil) and cooked nature (its burning). While each painting’s subject is that of transformation (from nature to culture), the paintings are equally objects of transformation. The content of one painting may be perceived as the inverse of another. In Ground Control (2004), ancient club mosses (Lycopodiums), fern-like plants that were the basis of what constitutes much of our fossil fuel reserve today, are transformed into a consumable, Shell Oil. In Coalface (2004), coal is burnt and consumed. This system allows me to create an open narrative between works, which is ideological without being overly didactic.

Madeleine Kelly Primavera 2005
Madeleine Kelly Primavera 2005
Sparky the culture hero is a painting by Australian artist Madeleine Kelly of deer headed people shown at Milani and MCA primavera 2005

Fossilphila, Metro Arts Brisbane 2003

Fossilphilia – meaning to love fossil fuels – is an exhibition about humanity’s insatiable desire to consume fossil fuels, and how this desire stops at nothing to achieve fulfilment, not even war. The presence of treeless tree shadows hint of absence and ephemeral resources, while their flat dimensions, akin to the compressed layers of ancient plants that form oil, become a setting for human civilization and its consuming folly.

These paintings were made before the Unites States strike on Iraq in 2003, a strike that occurred while the exhibition was open. Many of the works from this show were later exhibited in Primavera 2005.

Madeleine Kelly Logic Block 2003, oil on polyester 115 x 90cm
Logic Block 2003 oil on polyester 115 x 90cm
Madeleine Kelly Illogical Box 2003 oil and Letraset on polyester 90 x 115cm
Illogical Box 2003 oil and Letraset on polyester 90 x 115cm
Madeleine Kelly Blood for Oil 2003 Oil on gesso board 21 x 14cm
Blood for Oil 2003 Oil on gesso board 21 x 14cm
Madeleine Kelly Blood for Oil 2003 Oil on gesso board 21 x 14cm
Blood for Oil 2003 Oil on gesso board 21 x 14cm
Madeleine Kelly The Paradox of Ascent 2003
The Paradox of Ascent 2003