TOOL LOOT & The Mother Lode
09 Aug – 01 Sep 2018
Art Historian, Neil MacGregor, once said ‘The things we make have one supreme quality, they live longer than us. We perish, they survive. We have one life, they have many lives, and in each life they can mean different things…’
Kelly’s work begins with the object and draws direct lines between people and things. Growing up amidst the largest brown coal deposit in the Southern Hemisphere, this industrial geography and a value for the pragmatic approach still influence all aspects of her making – the material choices, the historical and visual rhythms of her work, the value of and for, careful crafting. The objects are often found and utilitarian, like components of locks or the internal mechanisms of domestic machinery. Selected for their demonstration of age or time and their previous functional life, all accretions are valued.
“I see my work as a visual language, where the collaboration or arrangements of objects produces a conversation between the negative spaces and the details. This conversation makes visible systems of meaning, value and use, where each piece operates as a mnemonic.”
Kelly’s work also recognises and responds to daily life, utility and the domestic setting. Investigating a sense of home and place alongside the history of these spaces, she uses materials traditionally taken from a masculine and modernist trope, and brings these into direct relation to the body using a jeweller’s sensitivity.
Kelly McDonald completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts in the late 90s. Following a career in the art department for film and children’s television, she moved to Wellington and reconnected with jewellery. Career highlights include selection for Talente and Schmuck in Munich, and inclusion in Wunderruma, an international touring exhibition curated by jewellers Karl Fritsch and Warwick Freeman. Kelly was a participant in the Handshake project for 4 years. She is a jewellery tutor at Whitireia NZ; a member of the collective Occupation: Artist, and the window gallery group, The See Here and is currently embarking on her Masters of Fine Arts at Massey University.