Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly

Deborah Kelly’s projects often start outside of art institutions, and some of them stay there. Posters for social movements, printable window protest signs and a billboard that ended up in the Mardi Gras parade. A choreographed dance as a momentary monument to the Tiananmen Square protests, disseminated on YouTube and performed in cities around the world. Kelly’s projects across media are concerned with lineages of representation, politics and history, and practices of collectivity from epic to intimate.

Some of Kelly’s projects that originate as political practices are picked up by art institutions, and others are devised directly for, with, or against them. Beware of the God (2005) was commissioned by the MCA and deployed across Sydney as postcards, PSAs and projections onto clouds. No Human Being Is Illegal (2014-19), for the Biennale of Sydney, unfolded through hundreds of group collage sessions and is now in the Wellcome Collection, UK.

Kelly has exhibited extensively around Australia, and in the Biennales of Singapore, Sydney, Thessaloniki, TarraWarra, Cementa and Venice. Recent solo exhibitions include CREATION at the Sydney Opera House (2022), The Gods of Tiny Things at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (2021); Life in the Ruins (2018) Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie, Zurich, and Venus Envy (2017) at the Kvindemuseet, Denmark. In December 2019 she won first prize in the Fotogenia Festival, Mexico City and was International Artist in Residence, Wellcome Trust, London. Her multidisciplinary work CREATION was included in The National, 2021 (MCA) and subsequently toured the country. A survey of her animated collage work, Many Hands Make Life Work, showed at Maitland Regional Art Gallery in late 2022 and 2023. Deborah Kelly’s work features in the exhibition Portrait23: Identity at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, in 2023.

Deborah Kelly on video collage artwork The Gods of Tiny Things

available works

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Recent News

2023: CREATION, Uber Leitungen, Leipzig, Germany; CREATION, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria; Portrait23: Identity, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

2022: Many Hands Make Life Work (moving image survey), Maitland Regional Gallery, NSW; CREATION: Visual art installation, procession and concert, Sydney Opera House, Sydney;
CREATION: Workshops, exhibition, concert, The Lock-Up & New Annual Festival, Newcastle, NSW

2021: The Gods of Tiny Things, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne