A room of popping colour and large shadows sprawled across the walls set from Kelly’s artwork, greeted me last Sunday evening at the ‘Art Rooms’ exhibition in London.
A series of flower like bouquets created with metals, scraps, wires, tape and plastics come together to form the shape of her artwork. These found objects that adorn her pieces, are redefined and given a new life. Kelly chooses the materials to communicate her thoughts and emotions. She wants to collide worlds with her art, the old and the new, the feminine and the masculin.
A conversation between elements, through to the viewer via her chosen everyday found material.
By placing the scraps to form bouquets, Kelly references 16th Century Dutch flower painting. An influence for her work, but fast forwarded into the future and placed in a neon lit world.
A thought to consider as i looked at the artwork, is the notion of ‘beauty’ and what that means to us. By shaping and structuring flower bouquets with metals, could it be, that what we assume could hurt us, is in fact a beautiful material and what we see as beautiful, like a flower, a rose, could be harmful. Our fingers could easily bleed when pricked by a rose, just as it could by touching metal or wire. The only difference would be how we first view those two elements and why we place judgement upon them.
Kelly’s art is infused by memories of destruction in Beirut. A city that is filled with war-torn buildings placed next to new and modern architecture across the city. Her three-dimensional work could perhaps represent that marriage of destruction and construction, and the notions of how we view beauty through destruction and how we react to that.
The perception of gender forms part of her structures too, coming forth and presenting itself through the addition of Barbie dolls entangled within the scraps and the metals. What is deemed as feminine and what is deemed as masculine intertwines within her sculpture-like pieces, the definition of gender is re-examined in her work.
Colour, pop, neon forms part of Kelly’s work with vibrancy and energy. Flower bouquet artworks that make us think, projecting their shadows of meanings onto walls, redefining everyday materials and creating art from scraps: structures of wires and metals, blossoming with emotions and thoughts.