a b o u t
Kelly Ewing (b. Belfast,1996) is a visual artist working across sculpture and installation, augmented reality, drawing and video. She is currently based in London, England, where she is undertaking her Masters in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London. She is currently the 2019-2020 recipient of a Frank Bowling Scholarship for her Masters, and will graduate in 2021. Prior to this, she studied for both her BA Hons in Fine Art and Foundation Diploma in Fine Art at Belfast College of Art, University of Ulster. In 2018, she was awarded the annual BEEP Painting Prize by Elysium Gallery in Wales, and exhibited a body of work in Elysium Gallery in her first joint show, ‘EQUILIBRIO’ in August 2019. Upcoming shows include ‘BADART Presents: TRASH’ at Fredric Gallery London, in late 2020.
Close your eyes and imagine your insides-
How do they feel, smell, touch, sound and move?
What are they made of? Are they long and thin, short and fat?
How deep do they exist inside you? Are they deep within or shallow within arm’s reach?
If you reach out and clutch; what are you touching? How do the objects feel?
Do you feel disgusted; repulsed; excited; soothed?
If you sing a soft lullaby to these objects, how do they react?
Do they undulate like lapping water or thrash like crashing waves?
~ Instructions for the creation of bodies
Bodies, forms, vessels and the objects that occupy them are at the core of my practice. These objects act as stand in’s or extensions of the human body, which are used to interrupt and subvert the space in which they occupy.
The construction of the feminine as object and landscape in traditional irish folklore, mythology and gender politics is the primary concern of my practice. In irish folklore and traditional mythology, the female is propagated as a vulnerable and untrustworthy entity, and similarly with the irish landscape, as rugged, unruly and untamed. In many of these tales, irish women would wander beyond the boundaries of their environment, and would fall victim to fairy abductions; wherein they would be taken to, and held within an ‘otherworld’.
Taking this notion of the irish female body as condemned entity, I explore an alternative female body- something which is unrecognisable in its appearance and forms, yet somehow inherently human. I like to re-imagine the female environment, its insides, textures, masses and lumps, and transform it into an otherworldly space.
Using video, drawing, augmented reality and installation, I am reimagining an alternative female otherworld; a new environment, filled with alien forms and unreal objects. Using augmented reality to project objects into a physical space allows me to reimagine my rural irish surroundings as alien landscapes, with floating masses and lumpy humanoid shapes. Large, bodily sculptures float in space, rotating slowly and pulsating, alongside static sculptures laid on the floor. Each of the works act as an intervention in the space and as a stand in for the physical body.