Hiding in Plain Sight – Photographic Works by Ross C. Kelly


Artist Talk | Friday, April 10, 3 – 4pm

Opening Reception | Friday, April 10, 4 – 6pm Artist Ross C. Kelly will be in attendance

We are very pleased to present Hiding in Plain Sight, the second solo exhibition of Ross C. Kelly’s photographic works at Art Beatus (Vancouver) Consultancy Ltd as part of Capture Photography Festival. This exhibition features all new photographic work drawn from three separate but complimentary projects. The work represents a continuing enquiry into the nature of the spaces we inhabit, how they are interconnected and how we, as individuals, read these landscapes and integrate ourselves into them.

The first series stems from the artist’s previous work, using his own strongly regimented form of photomontage to integrate different times and conditions into our reading of urban spaces. These works are composed of hundreds or thousands of manually collaged photographs and represent a much richer description of a place than can be attempted with a traditional, single frame photograph.

The second series integrates imagery and text in a way that overwhelms the notion of landscape with multiple meanings and layers of interpretation. Borrowing from the practice of traditional Chinese landscape painting, Kelly uses a device known as a colophon – an area of text attached to the beginning or the end of a scroll painting – to enrich the viewers’ understanding of the image. Traditionally, the painter, or his/her peers, would use this space to add their impressions of what the meaning of the image was or how it should be read. These impressions often took the form of poetic statements or simple comments. In this new body of work, Kelly has taken images from various locations and subjected them to a period of intense literary research, culling passages from an exhaustive list of historic and contemporary literary texts, novels, poems, academic papers on painting, the landscape, photography, anthropology, economics and geography to name but a few. These references are then presented alongside the image as a kind of indexical manual for the many ways to interpret it.

The final series employs an alternative use of the panorama, presented in a series of diptychs, in an attempt to draw the viewer beyond the edge of the image and examine the connections between spaces. In this work, the artist borrows the well used framing system of the panorama and turns it on its head, playing with the familiar vernacular of street photography but topping each scene off with a tall expanse of sky. The images tap into a frequently used cinematic device wherein the camera pans upwards from one scene before cutting to another. These works are displayed as diptychs in an attempt to question the differences between spaces and the invisible threads of past and present that connect them.

Born in Ireland, Ross C. Kelly studied geology at the London Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and Psychology at the American College in Dublin before earning a diploma in photography and a postgraduate diploma in art history from the University of British Columbia. Kelly is presently a candidate in the low residence MAA program at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. His photo-based work has been exhibited in various galleries throughout Canada, Ireland, the UK, Turkey, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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