Primavera 2005
Works from this exhibition were among seven original large-scale oil paintings exhibited in Australia’s premier exhibition of young artists. Depicting the transformation of material or matter, the works explore the materiality of things in seeking to produce affects whereby the evocative nature of oil paint depicts translucent and transparent forms, outlines, shadows and the diffusive layered tissues of membranes. Layers of paint build up strata and are superimposed in order to suggest archaeology and natural resources. Kelly’s work Pathfinder Closing (2005) was reproduced on various platforms, publications and on a monumental banner hung on the outside of the MCA building for three months attracting audiences in the 1000s. Located on one of the world’s most spectacular sites on the edge of Sydney Harbour, the Museum of Contemporary Art has a vision – a commitment to innovative programming with ground-breaking exhibitions of contemporary art from Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and around the world. Primavera is the MCA’s annual exhibition of Australian artists aged 35 and under that uncovers new artistic talent. Fenner, Fenner 2005, Primavera: Exhibition by Young Australian Artists, exhibition catalogue Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Curated by Felicity Fenner, it featured the works of 9 artists who explored new developments in painting. Monika Behrens, Madeleine Kelly, Fiona Lowry, Danie Mellor, Tom Mùller, Yukultji Napangati, Michelle Ussher, Pedro Wonaeamirri, Jemima Wyman. Primavera 2005: Young Australian Artists focused on new developments in painting. Including work by both Aboriginal and non–Aboriginal artists, the exhibition examined the ways in which painting at the time was engaging with a contemporaneous notion of existence, in contrast to the postmodernism of the 1980s and 1990s. The exhibition navigated issues both local and international, featuring arts practice that attempted to map our place, as individuals, as Australians and as global citizens. Although painting can be considered a traditional medium in arts practice – originally used as an existential record – these artists were able to engage the medium as a reflection of their time, creating a dynamic relationship with their changing natural and cultural contexts. In this exhibition curator Felicity Fenner sought to examine the complexity of the phrase ‘the lie of the land’. Originally used by colonisers in reference to the swift division of occupied territory, Fenner was attempting to explore how this origin could be translated to her own context. Primavera is the Museum’s annual exhibition of Australian artists aged 35 years and under. Since 1992, the series has showcased the works of artists in the early stages of their career, many of whom have gone on to exhibit nationally and internationally. Primavera was initiated in 1992 by Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM and their family in memory of their daughter and sister Belinda, a talented jeweller who died at the age of 29. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) – 07 Sep 2005 - 13 Nov 2005 Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre – 10 Feb 2006 -15 May 2006 Works by Madeleine Kelly in Primavera 2005 Primavera The Catalyst 2005 oil on polyester 83 x 94cm; Artificial Respiration Second Position 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm; Choreography of War Reportage 2002 Oil on polyester 185 x 174cm; Hydration Tactic 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm; Treatment for Hysteria 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm; Pathfinder Closing 2005 Oil on Canvas 240 x 188cm; A Job Well Done 2003 Oil on gesso board 20 x 25.5cm; Lifting a Helpless Patient; Ground Control; Sparky the Culture Hero; Coalface.
Felicity Fenner, Primavera, the lie of the land, contemporary painting, Australian Painting, fossil fuels, australian art, Madeleine Kelly, landscape painting
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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
Featured Work

Sparky the Culture Hero

Year

2005