27 July 2014

Light by Mo Kelly

Mo Kelly is inspired by the feelings that emerge during everyday incidents, which she expresses through her works in a truly original way. At first glance the influence of Symbolism and Edvard Munch is evident in the way that the artist treats the environment that surrounds her figures.

For example, in Sweet Serenity of Books dark tones are combined with light colours creating a contrast with the disk of gold and the pale skin of the figure, which is clad with a totally black garment. The same style is also applied in landscapes like Lake by Moonlight and cityscapes like Blocked Path (2009), a vortex of shapes and heavily contrasted colours. Other works by the artist are more romantic and have a heavy decorative style, almost in an Art Deco way;Hope and Golden Blossom (2011) are characteristic of this category in the work of Mo Kelly, while Cloths of Heaven stands out in its almost monochromatic palette and abstract treatment of the landscape.

A recurrent theme in the works of the artist is the light; there is a light source in both her landscape and figurative paintings. The omnipresence of the light disk is what highlights the momentum of every scene or action that is depicted; the feeling that is derived from everyday activities or the sense of looking at a landscape or cityscape at night. For Mo Kelly, the painting serves as a medium to shed light to that unique feeling generated by a given moment, a landscape or even a fantasy, which the viewer possibly misses out in everyday life.

Annita Apostolaki is an art professional with an MA from Sotheby’s Institute of Art and a BA in Archaeology & History of Art. Annita is now Curatorial Assistant at the Athens Biennale and a contributing author for USEUM.