Antarctica en plein air

Photo of John Kelly with a painting of a kangaroo.
Artist, John Kelly, will spend three months in Antarctica. (Photo: Fran Vickers)

Australian painter and sculptor, John Kelly, will spend three months in Antarctica as the 2013 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellow, where he will create a series of paintings depicting the Antarctic environment.

‘My project will be a direct painterly response to the unique, wild and beautiful Antarctic landscape,’ he said.

‘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 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 in Australia and 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 will also share his Antarctic experience through newspaper articles and speaking engagements.