Daniel Sean Kelly

Daniel Sean Kelly is an artist based in Leicester and co-director of Two Queens, an artist-run gallery and studios located in the city. Working largely in painting, printmaking and ceramics, his work seeks to create a speculative space for the imagining of other realities – a science fictional universe comprised only of objects existing in the world up to this point. He recently completed a short residency at Ekkisens gallery, Reykjavik and a solo exhibition at Trade Gallery, Nottingham. He is a current member of the free, alternative postgraduate programme ‘The School of the Damned‘.

 

Portrait of a King (This One's for the Losers), 2016, Acrylic on Board
Portrait of a King (This One’s for the Losers), 2016, Acrylic on Board

Describe your practice for us.

I mostly make paintings, prints and ceramics. Sometimes I describe my work as a science fictional or speculative universe containing only things that already exist (or have existed) in our world – but in which those things adhere to different rules. I don’t seek to innovate or devise any new things, just to skew or alter. In thinking about how things could behave differently I hope to arrive at some realisations about how things are. My work draws a lot from the history of art making and seeks to use the unique ability of art to say things you can’t say in other ways.

 

Family with Well-Constructed Dwelling, 2016, Oil on Board, Install view at Trade Gallery, Nottingham
Family with Well-Constructed Dwelling, 2016, Oil on Board

How long have you been practising?

I graduated from a BA in Fine Art in 2011 and have been making work since, but I think my practice really only started properly within the last two years. That is since I started painting again and started to feel like I was getting closer to expressing my ideas in the best way I could.

 

Man Walking Down a Hill, Oil on Board, 2015
Man Walking Down a Hill, Oil on Board, 2015

What is the most interesting/inspiring thing you have seen/been to over the last month, and why?

I don’t know if this counts but I am part of this years School of the Damned and we had a day of discussions and crits with Mark Leckey last week, that was pretty inspiring. In terms of things I have seen I was in Liverpool a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the Cecile B Evans show at Tate Liverpool – I am very interested in artists exploring the emotional potential of new technology, although the piece is all acted out by robots there is an intense sensitivity within it which reflects the nature of networked space.

 

Digging the Hole, 2016, Oil on Board, Install view at Trade Gallery, Nottingham
Digging the Hole, 2016, Oil on Board, Install view at Trade Gallery, Nottingham

Which other artists’s work do you admire, and why?

If I had to pick one my favourite artist is Bruegel the elder, I like a lot of art from that early-modern point in history, it has a directness about it which I would seek to emulate. In terms of contemporary artists Ella Kruglanskaya is probably my current favourite painter, I wish I could get the same energy into a painting that she does. I am also one of the directors of Two Queens gallery in Leicester so I work with artists a lot as well as being one, and constantly feel admiration for the artists I work with and how they approach their work.

 

Meeting of Icelandic Monsters, 2016, Handcoloured Drypoint Etching
Meeting of Icelandic Monsters, 2016, Handcoloured Drypoint Etching

Where can people see your work?

The next exhibitions I’m doing will probably be the School of the Damned degree shows, which are going to be happening around spring 2017 in Liverpool and London. My work can also be seen on my website.

 

Three Brothers, Possibly Triplets, 2016, Oil on Board, Install view at Trade Gallery, Nottingham
Three Brothers, Possibly Triplets, 2016, Oil on Board, Install view at Trade Gallery, Nottingham

 

Daniel was interviewed in December 2016.

All images are courtesy of and taken by the artist.