ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Artist Brendan Kelly lives and works in Mullumbimby, NSW Australia. He is a trained Graphic Reproduction apprentice and has studied book illustration and dynamic drawing.

Brendan Kelly’s first experience with paint was working with his father on his home growing up in Australia in the 1970’s. A moment where he recalled his father painting a green figure on the side of a box has stayed with the artist, establishing his first curiosity with paint and art. After some experimenting as a teenager, Kelly’s creativity burgeoned through a variety of artistic pursuits. Training as a Graphic Reproducer with a large printing company inspired cartoon drawing and poster art, and after relocating to Mullumbimby, the peace and isolation of living in the native bush created a sense of nostalgia and a yearning for something more.

After attending drawing classes in Northern NSW Kelly’s mind opened to a heightened sense of awareness and led to an exclusive concentration on his art practice. With designs and cartooning published in various Australian magazines and newspapers, the subsequent development of Kelly’s distinctive painting style reflects both his character and life experience. The artist images local subject including the vast parcel of land in Northern NSW on which he lives. And, through contemplation of life, his oeuvre includes reflection on Australian history, colonialism, Aboriginality from a white perspective, and iconic heroes and eccentricities as an Australian.

Kelly’s works are rich in narrative and reflect his deep connection with Sydney’s Wallumatta/Ryde area where he grew up. From a contemporary perspective, Kelly’s familiarity with and subsequent reflections on the Wallumatta/Ryde area, again draw from his personal experience of landscape and the native environment.

Among his achievements, a major work from his 2021 groundbreaking series, Wallumatta White Kid, is included in the Macquarie University Art Gallery Collection, and the artist has been invited by curator Rhonda Davis to respond as a contemporary painter from the area to the forthcoming 2022 Macquarie University survey exhibition of the Northwood Group of artists, which includes Lloyd Rees, Roland Wakelin, George Feather Lawrence, John Santry, Douglas Dundas, Wilmotte Williams and Marie Santry. The artist is also represented by Brenda Colahan Fine Art Sydney and The Thom Gallery Byron Bay. He is a nationally published cartoonist in Big Issue.

 

Solo Exhibitions:

2022 Saint Ned, Brenda Colahan Fine Art, Sydney NSW

2021 Stamped, 19Karen Gallery Gold Coast QLD

2021 Wallumatta White Kid, The Wellington Gallery Sydney NSW

2021 Breastfed Orphans,Traffic Jam Galleries, Sydney NSW

2020  Trouble in The Order,The Wellington Gallery Sydney NSW

2020  Flight to Light,The Wellington Gallery Sydney NSW

 

Group Exhibitions:

2021 Sydney Road Gallery Birthday Show

2021 ‘Birds’ Group Exhibition, Traffic Jam Galleries, Sydney

2019  Forest Art Flesh and Bone Experiment, Mullumbimby, NSW

2019  Forest Art Enter The Bower, Mullumbimby, NSW

2018  Forest Art Forest Comes Alive, Mullumbimby, NSW

2018  Forest Art Mullumbimby, NSW

2022 Saint Ned, Brenda Colahan Fine Art, Sydney NSW

2021 Stamped, 19Karen Gallery Gold Coast QLD

2021 Wallumatta White Kid, The Wellington Gallery Sydney NSW

2021 Breastfed Orphans,Traffic Jam Galleries, Sydney NSW

2020  Trouble in The Order,The Wellington Gallery Sydney NSW

2020  Flight to Light,The Wellington Gallery Sydney NSW

 

 

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