To hear something asks very little of us. To listen places our entire being on notice.
- Terry Tempest Williams
I am a visual artist with a focus on drawing and painting. My work explores relationships to landscape, animals, and spirit, and how these relationships can be transformative through deep listening.
Working mainly in acrylics on both paper and wood panel, layers of washes over wood grain meet illustrative line work. Combining loose washes and rogue drips with representational imagery and surface pattern speaks to the intersection of the domesticated mind and nature's frequencies.
My imagery focuses on North American wildlife and northern landscapes. Larger series are inspired from either multiple week wilderness trips, experiences with plant medicine, or both. Themes of connection and loss, ecological grief, and animal mysticism imbue my work.
My series titled After Eden asks us to face our difficult feelings around climate change and biodiversity loss so that we may actually be present with these processes. Rewilding: fire starter invites the viewer to rest in calming landscapes through honouring the ancient practice of gathering and bundling twigs to light fires with.
With my latest series of drawings I am investigating limitations of colour and scale as a response to the limitations the pandemic has offered us. Animals are often drawn wearing pyjamas and are alone or in pairs. Floral patterns and plants tie them to the natural world, but the white paper simultaneously isolates them from it. There is a quietness to them as they process all the changes this last year and a half has brought.
Influenced by artists who spend a great deal of time in wild landscapes to create their work, like Emily Carr, Meryl McMaster and Genevieve Robertson, I feel that immersion is key to developing deep listening. My exhibits always contain an audio and video component that loop throughout the gallery space and create an immersive atmosphere for the artwork to be experienced in.
My work uses beauty and tenderness to open doors to deeper conversations. It is my hope that these conversations can help cultivate healthier relationships to the natural world.
Stephanie Kellett is a Canadian rural artist living and working on the traditional territory of the Sinxt First Nation known as the Slocan Valley, BC.
Growing up in BC's Okanagan Valley, Kellett was surrounded by lakes, open pine forests, and wildlife that would wander down from the hills and into town. Tumbleweeds would literally roll down main streets on hot summer afternoons. This upbringing laid the foundation for themes of connection to wildness that Kellett continually highlights in her work.
After graduating from the Okanagan University College in 2003 with her Diploma in Fine Arts, Kellett moved to Victoria BC to complete her BFA in Art History. In 2010, Kellett again relocated, this time to the Kootenay region of BC where she currently resides, and began the process of teaching herself how to paint. In tandem with her partner and music producer, Robert E. Livingood, Kellett often takes multiple week wilderness trips to the Chilcotin Plateau and Yukon tundra to cultivate transformational experiences to create new work from. These trips have also afforded her multiple beautiful close encounters with grizzlies, black bears, foxes, moose and lynx, and have deepened her love and connection to the natural world.
Kellett exhibits in both public and commercial venues. She has created murals for the Nelson International Mural Festival, Artswells Festival, and Reimagine Festival in Penticton, BC. She has compiled and illustrated three books, and is currently working on a fourth. Her work can be found in private collections around the globe.