“I wanted to portray the violent transformation of nature in the European periphery. I have experienced that the concept of wilderness, and virgin land untouched by humans, has disintegrated.” –Helene Schmitz
Áine Kelly is an Irish visual artist specializing in photography and sculpture. She graduated in Fine Art from the Crawford College of Art and Design in 2016 and has previously studied at the University of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland. Currently, her work examines the nature of photographical representation and what its role plays in today’s image choked world. Her practice involves an investigative approach in order to find new ways to capture an authentic ‘photograph.’ Releasing herself from the camera, she works directly with light sensitive papers, scanners, lens, transparent materials, and most importantly, light.
Her most recent work was made while on an artist residency in Iceland. Lumps, sheets and crystals of ice were placed onto light sensitive paper and processed in the darkroom. Magnifying lenses were often used to control and refract the light passing through various states of ice and water. This manipulation of light was also a way to accelerate the melting of ice by hand. The intention of the work is to present an abstract impression of the landscape and capture the transient nature of ice, alluding to the country’s retreating glaciers.
Previous works explore the playful dialogue between sculpture and photography. The process begins with simple flat materials, which are manipulated into spatial objects by folding, cutting and sewing. They are captured using a photographic scanner which in turn becomes a digital echo of the traditional photogram process. Further manipulation of the scans are done in post processing, involving compositing, layering and removing evidence of thread which aids some of the sculptures forms. This creates impossible structures that appear to suspend in space and depicts elements of real and unreal simultaneously. There is a cyclic journey from flat materials into spatial objects and back into the flat plane of the photographic image. The work displays an interaction between light, material and form from a photographic perspective.