Joan Marie Kelly

Joan Marie Kelly

Joan Marie Kelly Artist artworks for sale

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  Artist: Joan Marie Kelly
 Live in: Singapore, South East Asia, Singapore
 Artworks for sale: 11.00
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Joan Marie Kelly Artist Bio:

Joan Marie Kelly has been living in Singapore since 2005. Presently, holds a faculty position at Nanyang Technological University also in Singapore. Her creative research investigates the status of migrant workers. The act of painting is an encounter with marginalized communities. These communities range from foreign workers, and maids in locations such as Kolkata, Singapore and Shenzhen. Following my BFA, without realizing it I started an art studio for disabled adults at Keswick Multi-Care Center in Baltimore. I began gathering the adults in wheel chairs in a hallway distributing clay, while teaching hand-building techniques. The clients and I made explorations of how to manipulate materials with their bodies. A lot depended on how open they were to exploring the use of their body in new ways. There was a young man Robert, with cerebral palsy who was very angry. He communicated with a keyboard and banged with one protruding knuckle, words of anger. Alone and away from the group I taught him how to hold one of the clay tools that cut away clay. I slipped it in between a couple of frozen still fingers. Manned with this tool he came to work the clay among the group. I watched people who were identified by their disability begin to sit up in their chair as they made art and discovered a new identity of an artist. I looked at myself as their artistic tool. The decision making of the design, construction, subject and content of the work defines the author of the artwork. I was able to get the kids from the local homeless shelter to work one-on-one with the adults by feeding them a big lunch. It was some of the most rewarding work I ever did. May 2005 I saw a new Art school in Singapore on the web. This was the first Art degree program in Singapore. After looking at the curriculum, I was shocked to see there was no program for the study of drawing. I don't usually write my senators but I wrote the university about my views on the importance of drawing as the basis of all visual communication. Two months later Nanyang Technological University returned a letter suggesting for me to apply for a position teaching Drawing. I have been teaching painting and drawing in Singapore at Nanyang Technological University School of Art Design and Media for 8 months of the year for the past 8 years. My opportunity to work with this type of contract for NTU will expire July 2014. When I first came to Singapore it was quite a shock from the charm of simplicity and spontaneity of Baltimore. It was as if I had moved into a golf course. Visually every leaf was in place and no one spoke to each other unless they were formally introduced. I didn't know how to relate to this place other than through my painting and began painting anyone who would pose in street coffee shops. Singapore is located in a part of the world where poverty surrounds the island. There is an influx of migrant workers. These are the people I began to engage with through painting. I setup in a coffee shop every Friday night. I painted in oils portraits in about 45 minutes. I had to focus while dozens of people watching and the sitter telling stories that could not possibly be true. It was great fun and this is how I began the direction of my creative research at the university. The act of painting became an encounter with marginalized communities. I setup an engagement through art where there was no infrastructure to communicate. Looking back I see myself in a role as artistic instigator re-occurring in various contexts, integrating education and social awareness. The work developed in a range of communities from foreign workers, and maids in locations such as Kolkata, Singapore and Shenzhen. I have focused my time in Kolkata India where I began art-making workshops involving women and children of very low economic and social status. I pay all the women to participate. The women set the hourly wage. The social context of the women's lives combined with an Irish/American female artist at times set-up interesting social situations that could at times be difficult to maneuver within the complexities of Indian society. Many people were sensitive to photography. I relied on listening, common sense and good advice from local people I trusted to know how to respond and carry myself. www.joanmariekelly.net