Sharon Kelly | Red-to-Red
Sharon Kelly’s exhibition Red-to-Red opens at The Mac Belfast on Friday 7th April 2023. The works included in this show were developed during the artist’s ACNI Fellowship at the British School at Rome. Kelly originally began the residency in January 2020, but it was interrupted by the pandemic. She eventually returned to Rome in January 2023 and completed the Fellowship in March.
Kelly has taken markers from her observances and encounters from her time in Rome and created work, externally affirmative and universally connective in nature. She often concentrates on focused bodies of work developed over time in a symbiotic process combining observation, awareness of the body and drawing on experience, feeling and intuition.
Her sensibility to the body and in particular the fragmented body, the torso and broken gesture featured strongly in works created in response to her original residency period and in the intervening three years. With its generative force emanating from personal encounters with severe illness and its aftermath, her work also embraced ideas of liminality and transformation.
In this current work, the colour red has developed as multi-charged, with multi-layered resonances; the residue of a staunched wound; the symbol of blood, the universal force and flow of life; the symbol of bloodshed, sacrifice, often seen in religious depictions.
A marker for warning or impending danger. Red is the colour symbolising authority, or status; generals in the days of the Roman Empire had their bodies painted red to celebrate victory. Red was also the colour of protective amulets. Red may indicate energy, vibrancy – the longest-lasting and most dominant of the colours of the Etruscan fresco wall-paintings. These red figurative images, fragmented over time, depict life, death, and the transitional space.
Red-to-Red continues until 13th August 2023.