In Shouty Snow Echo, Laura Kelly uses an experimental approach to drawing to evoke imaginary snow-covered, transient and uncertain landscapes.
For the exhibition, she employs assemblages of materials in a large drawing installation which combines both abstract and representational elements. Aspects of the pictorial landscape tradition – for example the horizon line, vignettes, panoramas and vistas - feature in work that alludes to snow-cover and its role in creating ambiguity in our perception of a landscape.
This work is the culmination of research in expansive snow-covered landscapes during Winter Residency Awards at the Banff Centre, Canada (2016) and Vermont Studio Center, USA (2018).
A number of elements come into play. A drifting point of view; shifts in scale from large to small, near and far; the use of ephemeral materials; a fragile sense of attachment; and drawing that crosses two spatial systems – the wall surface and the surface of objects attached to the wall.
The artist invites us to reconsider the experience of landscape as something elusive and uncontainable. Framing is discarded. In contrast to our world of digital devices and their rectangular viewing formats, her work ruptures the conventional way of looking and spills beyond any attempt at proposing boundaries in much the same way that Nature defies containment. Kelly’s use of fragments of fluorescent colour alludes to both human intrusion in the wilderness as well as visual perceptual processes in expansive landscapes - a hierarchy of seeing that prioritises colour, form and motion in that order.
The exhibition also includes a series of short experimental animations exploring transience and perceptual ambiguity. Made using a hand-drawn aesthetic, they defy immediate comprehension of place and offer no fixed point of view.
In an animation context, using each individual frame rather than the shot as a fundamental building block allows a consideration of the relationship between the single frame and moving image as a way of working within both pictorial and cinematic approaches. Working on each frame allows options open to pictorial artists such as the use of drawing and painting tools to explore the transformation of lines and brushwork.
A text by Wicklow native James Merrigan has been commissioned to accompany the exhibition. Reflecting on the installed work, this is available to read here. A printed copy of this is available in the gallery a free handout.
About the Artist
Laura Kelly has a BA in Fine Art (Painting) NCAD, MA in Visual Arts Practice (IADT) and MA in Image Synthesis & Computer Animation (Middlesex University, UK). She also holds a BA in Natural Sciences from TCD.
Solo exhibitions include ‘Fleeting’, 126 Gallery, Galway (2017); ‘Prospect’, Limerick City Gallery (2012); ‘Prospect ll’, The Drawing Project, IADT, Dun Laoghaire (2012); and ‘A Point Faraway’, Talbot Gallery Dublin (2008). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Ireland and the UK. Her work is held in the collections of the OPW, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council, Wicklow County Council, Tallaght Hospital and in private collections in Ireland and the UK.
Kelly is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including Vermont Studio Center (2018); The Banff Centre for Creativity, Canada, (2016); Fire Station Artist Studios Sculpture Award, (2018); and Leitrim Sculpture Centre Professional Development Residency Award (2018). Grant awards include the Arts Council Agility Award (2021); Arts Council Covid Award (2020), Arts Council Travel & Training Awards 2018 and 2016 and Wicklow County Council Artist Bursaries (2018, 2015).
Photo: Paul McCarthy