John Kelly 2013

Artist John Kelly portrait from waist up and outside, surrounded by green grass
Artist John Kelly (Photo: Stuart Smyth)
John Kelly in AntarcticaArtist John Kelly holding artwork depicting a Googie field hut.

Australian painter and sculptor John Kelly travelled to Antarctica in October 2013 for three months.

Mr Kelly used his fellowship to create a series of paintings depicting the Antarctic environment.

Before his trip, Mr Kelly said his project would be a direct response to the Antarctic landscape.

“The work will all be done ‘en plein air’ with a field easel and oil paint on linen, using what I call a ‘look and put’ method, where I attempt to bring back a record of my visual response to the landscapes without embellishment,” Mr Kelly said.

Mr Kelly currently lives in Ireland, but spent most of his life in Australia after his family emigrated from England the year he was born.

He has exhibited around the world, in many prestigious festivals and galleries and his work is held in art institutions throughout Australia and in France.

He is best known for his paintings and large sculptures of William Dobell’s cows – papier-mâché animals used during World War II to confuse enemy aircraft as to the location of Australian airbases.

Mr Kelly plans to exhibit the work from his fellowship at galleries in Australia, England and Ireland.

He also shared his Antarctic experience through blogs he wrote for The Guardian and The Bookend Trust.