About The Artist
After 22 years service with the Canadian Forces Kelly completed a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts through the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Kelly identifies as a white feminist woman of western European descent. She lives with PTSD and Depression. In her art practice she challenge viewers to rethink their assumptions about women and the work of women.
Kelly is captivated by the infinite alliance of form and material available. Repetition of ordinary objects, fastening everyday materials in unexpected ways, merging incongruent substances: these methods of making define her work. Use of ordinarily invisible materials alludes to the low regard frequently ascribed to women’s work.
Metals are ubiquitous materials with ancient artistic and industrial roots. Subverting such metals’ industrial function to one of static contemplation becomes an allegorical plea for deceleration and hope.
In a world where peace inhabits the marked position, efforts to create the arresting out of the unexpected speak to the untapped global grace currently denied us. Kelly’s artalludes to potential solutions to the myriad social injustices saturating our world. The complexity of this work forecasts that solutions to these injustices are possible but will be multifaceted, protracted and demand our deepest commitments. One should not shy away from the challenge of offering hope within a seemingly permanently damaged context.
Kelly Gough lives and works on Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast.
Art Therapy - Recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
In 2005, Kelly and her husband moved to Vancouver Island, BC. Her need to gradually accept
and reconnect with her emotions coupled with the discovery of a new west coast lifestyle
made the pursuit her life long dream to become an artist inevitable. Through her work as an
assemblage and performance artist and her online blog “PTSD is Not My Fault”, Kelly Gough
expresses the process of her personal journey of recovery from PTSD and challenges the many misconceptions of mental illness.
Kelly Gough’s artwork is not only art therapy, a fundamental part of her own psychological
healing, but also provides a social commentary acknowledging the fragmented and deconstructed emotions of a society heavily stimulated by media and commercialism. Woven
into the themes of her artwork are her beliefs about feminism and the importance of supporting
awareness of women’s issues including domestic violence. Kelly’s background in military social work has given her artwork an authentic and credible voice that is able to communicate in ways that encourage engagement and interaction.
Kelly Gough recently completed her Fine Arts Degree with Emily Carr University of Art and
Design and enjoys working in all media.
In July 2010, Kelly's "Swarm III" was acquired by the People's Republic of China National Sculpture Magazine.
In November 2010, Kelly received a commission from mgb-architecture and design of Vancouver, Canada to create work for the new Blanche-MacDonald Centre in downtown Vancouver, to open in late fall 2011.
In Kelly Gough's hands quotidian industrial materials undergo a transformation into sculptural objects and installations. Often working with recycled materials, she has an innate ability to create visually beautiful and engaging work. Her sculptural forms are not factual representations of recognizable objects but rather they are intimately suggestive of "things" that we know and are familiar with.
Copper foil and copper wire are repurposed in the making of her work. Her series of 'blanket' sculptures employ hundreds of lengths of copper wire and foil; each element woven together by hand. Her 'basket' sculptures are also hand woven from copper wire, and are suggestive of traditional forms of basketry. The colours inherent in these materials reinforce a quality of beauty that is so prevalent in her work.
Kelly is definitely a maker and this is immediately evident when viewing her work. She has an intrinsic affinity working with materials; her use of integer based elements echoing the methodology of other contemporary artists. In her work 'swarm' thousands of rubber discs are combined with recycled thin copper wire to create an astounding spatial nebula that changes in form and size with each installation. There is a kind of wow! factor when standing in front of these works.
In all her work the concept of time becomes apparent as we consider the "labour" or scale of production that is involved. There is a wonderful ambiguity about her sculpture, allowing each viewer to bring their own reading to the work.
Douglas Senft - Sculptor, Vancouver Island