Conor Kelly works primarily with painting and sculpture. For New Work Scotland, Conor created a series of paintings made by working layer upon layer of thin films of paint, each layer often negating and erasing the previous layer. The titles of the paintings reference an odd cast of natural and historical subjects, including Dada artist and poet Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Adler Christiansen (lover and manservant to revolutionary Roger Casement), and the extinct marsupial, the thylacine. The paintings were exhibited alongside a sculpture La Tour du Travail (The Tower of Labour), a 'ready-made' named in tribute to Rodin's ornate maquette for his monumental folly to labour, playing on the historicisation of labour and the relative manual ease of the ready-made. Punctuating the gallery floor were a series of Rollies; towels rolled in acrylic gesso that appeared stuck in a state of their own potential. The installation of paintings and sculptures pointed to a cathartic yet problematic treatment of history, where fact and fiction are lost to form.
New Work Scotland Programme was an initiative launched by Collective in 2000. Through an open call, New Work Scotland Programme identified and supported some of the most promising new practitioners working in Scotland - providing them with the opportunity to create new work and bring it to the attention of a wider public. The 2013 participants were Frances Stacey, Calvin Laing, James Bell, Conor Kelly, Shona Macnaughton, Tom Varley and Rachel Maclean.
This is an archived programme entry.