Kelly Doley In MemoryOpening: Tuesday 28 September, 2021 Dates: 28 September - 30 October, 2021
In 2019 I lost my mum to cancer very rapidly. In her final months, writing became our main form of contact. Several days after she died, a letter I wrote to her arrived, it had been delayed in the mail. I kept reading over the letter, these words she never received, circling over my final sign off a customary ‘I love you’.
In Memory is inspired by the at once deeply personal and yet collectively shared experience of grief, loss and mourning. Monumental in scale, In Memory is made up of over 200 canvas squares cut to standard quilting size and sewn together to construct a large painting. Each square is intricately and individually designed using sign writing techniques, repetitive graphics and decorative motifs. Drawing on the tradition of mourning quilts; large handmade textiles to express and commemorate both personal and community grief, In Memory is a meditation on the complexity of grief, the inevitability of change and the ongoing process of life.
Accompanied by an essay by Linda Dement.
I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the stolen land this work was made on, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and pay my respects to Elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.
Kelly Doley is an artist living on Gadigal land (Sydney) since the early 2000s. Born in Naarm (Melbourne) and raised in the Northern Rivers, she is of Scottish descent. Her practice encompasses painting, performance and curatorial projects. She has a current interest in working with hand painted signwriting and slogans influenced by her father’s occupation as a commercial set painter and the lineage of feminist and queer art and activist practices. Most recently she has exhibited in Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Melbourne), Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, the MUMA Art You Can Wear project and created a collection for NGV Design Store (Melbourne). Kelly is a resident of the NSW Creative Industry Residency Program at the Powerhouse in Ultimo and a founding member of artist collective Barbara Cleveland, represented by Sullivan+Strumpf.