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Áine Kelly

Áine Kelly is an Irish visual artist based in Bristol, UK. Her practice is multi-disciplinary, specialising mainly in photography, sculpture and textiles. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art at the Crawford College of Art and Design in 2016.

Previous works examine the sculptural potential and material essence of photography, temporality and environmental concerns. Currently, her practice aims to minimise her environmental impact by working with natural and repurposed materials within sculptural and textile processes.

She has received numerous awards and grants to support her practice and has exhibited internationally.


Flow + Flow

This work was made whilst on an artist residency in Iceland. Lumps, sheets and crystals of ice were placed onto light sensitive paper and processed in the darkroom. Magnifying lenses were often used to control and refract the light passing through various states of ice and water, resulting in burn like marks. This manipulation of light was also a way to accelerate the melting of ice by hand. The intention of the work is to present an abstract impression of the landscape and capture the transient nature of ice, alluding to the country’s retreating glaciers.

Spatial Compositions

This work explores the playful dialogue between sculpture and photography. The process begins with simple flat materials, which are manipulated into spatial objects by folding, cutting and sewing. They are captured using a photographic scanner which in turn becomes a digital echo of the photogram process. Further manipulation of the scans are done in post processing, involving compositing, layering and removing evidence of thread which aids some of the sculptures forms. This creates impossible structures that appear to suspend in space and depicts elements of real and unreal simultaneously. There is a cyclic journey from flat materials into spatial objects and back into the flat plane of the photographic image.


This work came about from experimenting with the chemigram process. Burning, wetting and scratching into photographic paper prior to it’s processing was done in an attempt to break down the photograph. This resulted in abstract forms and textures of an other worldly aesthetic. The prints were scanned digitally to enlarge minuscule details of the print.

As this work is a result of a reaction between destructive processes and chemicals of light sensitive paper, it is not a record of light. This brings to question what defines a photograph.


  • Fine Art BA Hons, Crawford College of Art and Design, Ireland (2012 – 2016)
    • Erasmus, University of Fine Arts, Poland (2015)
  • Interior Architecture BSc, Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland (2008-2011)

  • Environmental Crisis, Gerald Moore Gallery, London, UK (2020)
  • Espy Photo Awards, Elysium Gallery, Swansea, UK (2019)
  • The Place, curated by This Must Be, Grosvenor Gallery, Manchester, UK (2019)
  • Live, Walcot Chapel Arts Space, Bath, UK (2018)
  • Pass It On… Touring exhibition to Showcase Gallery, Southampton, UK; Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork, Ireland; L’Hybride, Lille, France; The Hague, Netherlands; Shanghai Academy of Art, China (2016-2017)
  • Fledglings, Lavit Gallery, Cork, Ireland (2016)
  • Unease, curated by Janusz Bałdyga and Marta Bosowska, UP Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2015)
  • A Performance Caravan, curated by Amanda Coogan, Sample Studios, Cork, Ireland (2014)

  • Cluster Photography & Print Fair, Ugly Duck, London (2020)

  • 30 Under 30 Women Photographers, Artpil (2020)
  • Shutter Hub Prize, Espy Photo Awards (2019)
  • Travel and Training Award, Arts Council of Ireland (2018)
  • CIT Arts Development Grant (2016)
  • Trans-National Creative Exchange funded residency (2016)

  • Fish Factory Creative Centre, Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland (2018)
  • Silence Awareness Existence, Arteles, Finland (2016)
  • TNCE, Solent University, Southampton, UK (2016)

  • Featured artist in Issue 2, Rung Magazine, published by East Bristol Contemporary (2019)
  • Featured as part of The Performance Caravan in Performance Art in Ireland: A History, edited by Áine Phillips, published by The Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books UK (2015)