About Dr Madeleine Kelly

Madeleine Kelly’s practice-led research is based on the vibrant field of painting, with a focus on human entanglements with animals/plants/energy'. She makes paintings that are visually engaging and pertinent in their reflection of our troubled connection to the natural world. Kelly is interested in studio culture and a wide range of exciting contemporary works that are led by the hand, reminding us of our common humanity and agency. While painting remains core, her practice is enriched by its inter-relationships with kinesis and with other art-forms such as sculpture and textile.

Kelly’s research expertise spans traditional and contemporary approaches to painting. She has excellent knowledge of the technical skills that span both water-based and oil-based mediums. Paintings today, Kelly asserts, may be displayed in many contexts and positively engage with art history and its wider socio-political contexts. Kelly’s practice-led PhD was conferred by the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, 2013. Entitled Picturing Archaeologies: The Meta-archaic Aesthetic, her dissertation examines the archaeological metaphor as an image-laden and mutable terrain. With a background in science, education and philosophy, she situates art through various philosophical frameworks.

Born in Germany, Kelly arrived in Australia in 1980 and has been invited to exhibit in both public and private galleries nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney – Primavera 2005, curated by Felicity Fenner – and Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) – GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art 2015, curated by Peter McKay. Recently, her work has been displayed at Tapetenwerk, Leipzig, Germany, in Paradigm Exchanging Glances – New Labor Worlds, curated by Anna-Lousie Roland. Kelly has won several awards including the Melville Haysom Memorial Art Scholarship, the 2004 Churchie Prize for Emerging Art and, in 2018, the $25,000 Sunshine Coast Art Prize for her painting Allowable Forms and Unconscious Facts. In 2005, she was the recipient of the Australia Council’s Paris Studio Residency. Her works have entered many public collections in Australia, including QAGOMA and several permanent university collections. In 2020, QAGOMA will profile the innovations and achievements of her practice in Madeleine Kelly: Open Studio. Kelly is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane.



Selected publications

  • Kelly, M., Madeleine Kelly: Open Studio, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, QLD, 2020.
  • Kelly, M., Spin out, spun in, Milani Gallery, Brisbane, QLD, 2019.
  • Kelly, M., What the centre cannot hold: new works by Madeleine Kelly, Ipswich Regional Gallery, QLD, 2019.
  • Kelly, M., Paradigma Blickwechsel - Neue Arbeitswelten (Paradigm Exchanging Glances – New Labor worlds) Tapetenwerk Leipzig, Germany, 2017.
  • Kelly, M., Mimicry and Mimesis: Matrix Insect, Animal Studies Journal, 5(1), 2016.
  • Kelly, M., GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLD., 2015.
  • Kelly, M., Ten Years of Contemporary Art: The James C Sourris Collection, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLD., 2011.
  • Kelly, M., Australia Felix, Crane Arts Philadelphia, USA, 2011.
  • Kelly, M., Hollow Mark, Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD. 2011.
  • Kelly, M., Primavera 2005: Exhibition by Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, NSW, 2005.