Stewart Kelly

Memories are often vivid and my own experience of them often leaves me with a feeling that I have relived a particular moment. But, if I try and analyse this and think about what it is that helps me recall my past, what enables me to conjure up these experiences, then I might as well try and grasp moonbeams. Fleeting sensory snippets of past events seem to combine with the emotions I felt at the time. The overall effect is not like a picture inside my head that can be studied and carefully looked over. The result is more like an apparition, mysterious and vague; a shadowy evasive thing that refuses to be nailed down. Yet for all that it seems real; a faithful recollection of a past event.

When I am painting I rely on my memory to guide me through and give shape to my work. I try to record those fleeting snippets, the signposts, the sometimes unexplained prompts or cues that come together in my head, guide my hand, and finally solidify into a piece of finished work. This approach is also evident in for example the marks, colours and textures I use. Sometimes these can be deliberate, purely expressive, and in response to a memory while at other times the effects are a part of the process of my working that fires or sparks off a memory or emotion.

All my life I have had a strong interest in the natural world. I believe it is hard to have such an interest and yet be blind to the many manmade issues that are now threatening the environment. It is my observations of nature, concerns for the environment, and my responses to people and places that are usually expressed in my work. For example, up until recently I was an active and keen scuba diver and when I look at some of my finished paintings I can see the edge of a reef or some weed encrusted rocks with fronds moving in the current. When I look at these pieces I can almost feel the water around me.

Basically, I both loose and find myself in the act of creating a piece of work. Most viewers consider my work abstract as I do myself. Sometimes however, I look at a finished piece and it can spark my memory and be as vivid as the original experience.


Cross Street Art The World Of Glass, St Helens

RGI Winter Exhibition, Kelly Gallery, Glasgow, 6th Dec -24th Jan
all about drawing, The Gallery, Cross Street Art, Wigan 28thFeb -9th Jan
Winter Art Fair 2014, Artsmill, Hebden Bridge, 26th Nov – 19th Dec
A6 Dialouge Exhibition, 3rd Floor Gallery, Manchester, 22nd Nov – 29th Nov
Electric Open 2014, Electric Picture House, Congleton, 10th Oct – 1st Nov
Cross Street Art Open Studios, The Gallery, Cross Street Art, Wigan, 4th Oct – 31 Oct
Calderdale Open Art Exhibition, Bankfield Museum Halifax, 4th Oct – 15th Nov
Warrington Contempory Arts Festival, The Gallery Bank Quay House, 3rd Oct -1st Nov
Oxheys Summer Exhibition, Oxheys Mill Studios, Preston, 7th Aug – 30Aug
West Lancashire Open Exhibition The Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk, 19th July – 3rd Sept
Altrincham Open 2014: Aurora Borealis Art With A Heart, Altrincham, 2nd July-31 July
The Ribble Valley Jazz Festival, Clitheroe Castle, 1st May-14th May
Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art 2014, Nicholson Gallery Leek, 12th April – 17th May



Twitter: @StewartKellyArt