Kelly’s practice has taken the intersections between art, life, health and sport. Often generating focused bodies of work, exploring ideas of bodily interiority, emotional states, and the mind / body synergy utilising various media and surface, her work has included large scale drawing installations, stop motion animation and video.
A recent body of work Mind Fuel interrogated the mind-body synergy through investigating the nature and challenge of endurance running. Her current work deals with the potentially unsettling confrontation of the fragmented, broken body; issues of healing, perseverance and notions of liminality, time and transformation.
Kelly has undertaken numerous collaborations with poets, writers, dancers and choreographers. In 2017 she was co-initiator and developer of a multimedia dance production, with Maiden Voyage Dance Company, creating the visuals for Landscapes of Loss, exploring the territory of grief over time.
Sharing creative practice is a significant element of her work and she has been involved in numerous exploratory projects in the field of education across Ireland with children and teachers. Between 2011 – 2019, she was Virtual Artist in Residence, St Patrick’s Primary School, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, Kids’ Own Publishing Project, Virtually There, using video conferencing software as creative platform for exploring and communicating.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards including Arts Council of Northern Ireland Visual Arts Awards; Rowel Friers Perpetual Trophy; The Drawing Prize 132nd Royal Academy Exhibition, 2013; The Bass Ireland Award 2001; British Council Award 1999; EV+A Open Award, Adjudicator, Jan Hoet, Belgium 1994; First Prize, ‘Siolru’, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin 1994; Alice Berger-Hammerschlag Trust Travel Award 1991; The Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation, Canada 1990.
Kelly’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally since 1990 and is held in public and private collections in Ireland and further afield.
In 2020 she was awarded the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Fellowship at The British School at Rome.