Literary Programme 2017

John Kelly

John Kelly
(Painting Antarctica)

John Kelly

Bantry Library

Fri 21 July 2017



In 2013 artist John Kelly was appointed artist-in-residence with the Australian Antarctic division. He travelled to Antarctica and spent three months drawing, painting and documenting the most remote place on earth, from the vantage points of the icebreaker Aurora Australis and on foot. During that trip he worked to create 57 paintings and write five essays for the Guardian, all of which were collected in John’s book Beyond Woop Woop: John Kelly in Antarctica.

John will speak about his trip to Antarctica and the work that he created during the trip as well as speaking about his other work as an internationally-acclaimed artist.

‘The end results [of Kelly’s trip to Antarctica] are very likely about the best painting show you will see this year…’Andrew Harper reviewing John’s exhibition in the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery in Hobart

John Kelly has been described variously as an awkward bugger (Fergal Gaynor, 2007) and a free radical (Guangzhou Triennale, 2008), and whilst these observations are no doubt true his awkward radical behaviour leads to some interesting results. John Kelly was born in 1965. His father, from Cork, and mother from Bristol, the family immigrated to Australia the same year. Due to his birth, heritage and circumstance John now holds three passports and therefore is an Englishman, an Australian and an Irishman. John has lived in all three countries and for the past decade has resided in West Cork. John’s iconic sculpture Cow Up A Tree has been displayed all over the world, including six months on display in Emmet Place in Cork city in 2012.

You may read more about John’s work and his trip to Antarctica here.

John’s photo is by Justin Chambers