Artist Biography - Kelly O’Brien

Kelly is an American mixed media artist who lives and works near Bath, England. In 2011, she left the United States to join her husband, a UK/US citizen, in Frankfurt for an international assignment with his company.
With a master’s degree in adult development, Kelly had a 20+ year career working in leadership and management development for the US government and large organ
...izations. Leaving the US presented her with an opportunity to pursue her art practice on a full-time basis.

Materials and narrative play important roles in Kelly’s work. She works primarily with paper, attracted to its paradoxical qualities of ephemeral strength. Even when manipulated in seemingly destructive ways – scoring, burning, sewing into, tearing, repairing – what emerges is often more interesting and beautiful than the original form. She is interested in how her materials can transform and reinvent themselves into something new, not unlike an adult who continues to learn and grow – coming full circle in her work from the earlier career.
For Kelly, using fire in her artistic process is personally prominent to her overcoming fear and taking control. Up until her 20s, she was afraid of fire and has always been reluctant to take things out of a hot oven. Through using fire and burning tools in her practice she has learnt to over come her fears through controlling it and being totally present in the creation of her work.
Kelly has gained an international following with her work. In Germany, the artist is shown by the Galerie Uhn of Königstein-im-Taunus. She is also shown by multiple fine art consulting firms, and works extensively with trade professionals that serve the designed interiors market, including hospitality, healthcare, corporate, and high-end residential projects in North America and Europe.
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