'After Eden' at Kootenay Gallery of Art
March 06, 2020
What comes After Eden? Visual and performance artist Stephanie Kellett and sound artist Robert Livingood explore this question in a multi-media exhibition at the Kootenay Gallery of Art.
Kellett and Livingood are life partners as well as artistic partners, based in Nelson, BC. The pair have traveled on several occasions to central and northern BC and Yukon, spending months in the wilderness. In their most recent excursion to Yukon, they came across very little wildlife and crisp, dry tundra.
With this exhibition, the artists express the increasing emptiness of the northern landscape that they experienced on recent journeys. Kellett has created a series of portraits of animals, such as wolves, caribou, and salmon. The paintings feature silhouettes of the species on an abstracted background, imprinted with a ghostly image on top, leaving the viewer with the impression of loss. Together, Kellett and Livingood created a short video featuring Kellett as a figure in mourning floating on the barren expanse. The ethereal figure searches for indications of the abundant wildlife that once occupied the now empty space. To complete the exhibition, Livingood crafted work in situ, using field recordings and analogue synthesizer. The subtle and eerie sound piece loops continuously throughout the gallery.
As calamitous climate events escalate around the globe, people are displaying classic symptoms of grief, including anger, depression and denial. While these emotional states are often intangible, the tender work by Livingood and Kellett materializes the losses. As witnesses to these losses, the exhibition offers viewers an opportunity to reflect on and to re-engage with the climate crisis from a new place.
In conjunction with the exhibition, adult educator and therapist, Jan Inglis is offering a workshop entitled “Grief, Grit, and Gratitude: Developing Resilience in the Face of Climate Crisis”. This workshop will take place at the Kootenay Gallery of Art on April 18 from 1:00 – 4:30, (right after the artist talk. The exhibition will remain up until mid-July)
Written by Maggie Shirley
Curator of Kootenay Gallery of Art
'Not Extinct' at Gallery 2
September 13, 2019
'Not Extinct' presents an immersive audio experience of Sinixt stories. The Gallery 2 exhibition invites you to step inside the pages of the book by the same name. Enlarged illustrations and original artworks provide a backdrop for recorded readings while quotes from the book give a contextual background. The heritage courthouse that houses Gallery 2 is fundamentally a symbol of colonial power whose legacy continues to underpin everything that we do. Within the larger national conversation about Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous people, it is often difficult to know where to begin. Not Extinct provides a step – through hearing the stories we can begin to acknowledge that there were other people here first. Indigenous stories are an oral tradition; this exhibition is first and foremost an audio experience. As with all stories, there are lessons to be learned – in order for that to happen, the stories must be told – and heard.
'Re-Wilding' at Gallery2
February 01, 2019
My exhibition, Re-Wilding: fire starter, is on tour and currently up at Gallery2 in Grand Forks, BC.
Exhibit runs from February 1-April 6, 2019
Re Wilding: fire starter explores the transformation that occurs when a domesticated life form returns to its wild state. During the research phase of this project, Stephanie Kellett immersed herself for six weeks into the deep wilderness of the Chilcotin Plateau. Nearly four weeks into the trip, she noticed that the simple and everyday action of collecting twigs for fire starter connected her to a deep remembering of a time when all people lived closer to the earth.
Through the burning and painting of these collected twigs, the bundles became both effigies of the landscapes from which they came, and offerings that kept the artist warm and spirit fed. This exhibit shares these offerings through the mediums of acrylic painting, video, found-object installation, and soundscape. Enjoy, then go outside.
September 07, 2019
I love working with music producers to create great album art for their releases.
Robert E. Livingood is no exception.
Recently released on the Berlin Synth Wave/Italo/Dark Dance label, 'Emerald and Doreen', Livingood's music "was composed in a far out valley using hardware synths, old amplifiers, field recordings of natural phenomena, and the sublime voice and words of friend and collaborator, Rhoneil Marie"
August 17, 2018
I'm honored and excited to be chosen as a muralist for the first annual Nelson International Mural Festival!
I've been given the back entrance of Leaf Cross Health Society in the alley behind Baker Street. It's a three-sided entrance made of corrugated metal, so it was delightfully challenging to say the least.
For my subject, I chose to honor and celebrate the caribou and wolf populations that call the south Selkirk mountain range home, and who have encountered great adversity over the past few years.
Titled 'Mountain Memories', may this mural always gently remind us of their wild medicine.
Thanks you Nelson District Arts Council and Leaf Cross Health Society for this incredible opportunity. I'm humbled and grateful.
March 09, 2018
I'm honored to have been a part of this project. Illustrating the story, 'How Coyote Brought Black Moss Food to the People', I attempted to create an illustration that was as full of swirling trickery as Snk̓ lip himself.
Below is an exert from the Blood of Life Collective Facebook page:
For over a year, Blood of Life Collective members gathered to listen to and record Sinixt storytellers and knowledge-keepers Marilyn James and Taress Alexis telling the stories of the captikʷɬ, the Sinixt oral history. They were entertained week after week by the antics of Snk̓lip – the trickster Coyote – and the goings-on of the other Animal Beings who people these stories. These traditional stories as well as a few contemporary ones form the backbone of Not Extinct: Keeping the Sinixt Way. The stories are available for free audio download by purchasers of the book in their original oral format.
As Marilyn writes in the Introduction, “The stories that inform this book are the stories that depict the captikʷɬs. They are the creation stories of this particular landscape, of our People. Captikʷɬs guide us, they tells us about the laws, the laws of this land, laws that dictate our lives, our cultural paths, how we behave. Here, in the tum xúlaʔxʷ, these stories guide us.”
Also recorded were discussions about each story which were transcribed into a written format. These explorations of the meanings and contemporary relevance of each story form the contents of the book alongside a captivating illustration and a settler’s reflection for each chapter. The Sinixt authors explore many aspects of their living culture including food, games, language, hunting and other cultural practices as well as the impact of the 1956 bureaucratic genocide of their people in Canada.
Full-page, colour and black and white illustrations by 17 different regional artists help illuminate the Sinixt ancestral and contemporary relationship with the land and waters of the upper Columbia River watershed. Each chapter is rounded out by a reflection on the story and/or discussion by one of ten settler authors. The illustrations and reflections by these contributors give readers further opportunities to engage with the stories. Their perspectives represent the interest of increasing numbers of people in developing respectful and decolonizing relationships between Indigenous and settler peoples.
Re-Wilding: fire starter // art opening at Oxygen Art Centre
January 05, 2020
The Oxygen Art Centre is pleased to be presenting an exhibition of new work by visual artist Stephanie Kellett. The exhibition will include a series of new paintings, a found object installation and an audio visual component. As research and inspiration for the creation of Re-Wilding: fire starter Kellett traveled with her partner, bear biologist and sound artist Robert E. Livingood to Chilko Lake and Fish Lake in the Chilcotin region of British Columbia. Together they spent six weeks living in this biologically rich environment among grizzly bears, wolves, wild horses and salmon runs. Kellett went to the plateau with the intention of re-wilding herself, which centered around a quest to “still her mind” in the sublime beauty and deep quiet of the plateau. However, what touched her deeply and has inspired her creative process was found in the mundane, in the daily act of gathering twigs for starting fires. This repetitive and simple act is the root of her new work and exhibition, Re-Wilding: fire starter.
The Oxygen Art Centre will host an opening reception for the artist on Friday, January 5th from 7-9pm. The exhibition Re-Wilding: fire starter will run from January 6th through to February 3rd, 2018. The gallery will be open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 1-5pm . The artist will give a talk on her work on Saturday, January 20th from 4-5pm.
Deep Down Yonder's "Journeys" - album art
October 28, 2017
I love working with cutting edge music producers to create a well-rounded design and album cover that shows a few different sides of both the music and producer.
Deep Down Yonder is a cornucopia of live instruments that all played and arranged by the talented Jaysen Ellerbeck out of the Kootenay mountains.
"Journeys" is a melodic, bass and banjo driven exploration into the territory where acoustic and electronica meet. An instrumental, multi-layered, renegade electro-mountain of sound that blends genres and walks the line between country, funk, and psychedelic four on the floor house.
Wild Art at Cantina del Centro
September 29, 2017
Stephanie Kellett's art will go beautifully with tequila and Cantina Del Centro's electric vibe. Come and drink in beautiful blue walls covered in richly painted animals and landscapes. An indulgence not to be missed.
The show is in conjunction with the Blue Night Nelson Culture Crawl, and the opening will start at 7pm on September 29th. A great night to check out lots of new artists and artisans! See you then!
In Wonder and Warpaint - book release
November 24, 2017
As part of the November Blue Night series in Nelson, Robert E. Livingood will be releasing 'In Wonder & Warpaint', a new book of essays illustrated by Stephanie Kellett. Not a traditional reading, the event will be more of an installation, inclusive of original images from the book, and a sculptural/sound installation of Robert's.
Soft cover books will be available at the event. Hardcover will be available through order only. Prints of the main chapter art will be available as well.
116 pages, full color images
We all have experiences we'd rather not remember - ones we try to run from, ones we ignore, and ones we repress. Whether we consciously remember them or not, they form who we become. These experiences can make or break us. If they make us, they always resurface later as a story to tell. For this reason, In Wonder and Warpaint exists.
This book is many things: it represents moments in the life of a young boy growing up fast in places like Detroit, Houston, and L.A. during the late 70s and early 80s; it's a tale of love as strong as a mother bear protecting her cubs; it's a personal account of the influential power of art, culture, and punk rock, and it's a coming of age story set in a collapsing world that is simultaneously being re-birthed. But more than anything, this collection of illustrated essays is like a poem of wild beauty scrawled upon piles of broken rubble and urban decay.
VISAC Gallery - 'Landscape, Migration, and Wildness' - Solo Exhibit
January 13, 2017
January at the VISAC Gallery in Trail will host my first solo public gallery exhibit, Landscape, Migration, and Wildness.
Opening January 13th, 2017, from 6-8:30pm.
Visac Art Gallery, 1501 Cedar Avenue, Trail, BC, V1R4C7.
Come follow the largest recorded Salmon run as it crosses the Chilcotin Plateau, as interpreted through the acrylic paintings of Stephanie Kellett. Soundscape by Robert E. Livingood will accompany the work, and will feature traditional Tsilhqot'in salmon songs and stories given to him by Gilbert Solomon, a medicine man and elder of the Tsilhqot'in nation.
Come celebrate wildness through art!
Exhibit will be on display form January 13th - February 11th, 2017.
BLUE NIGHT ARTWALK - Artist Talk and Solo Exhibit
November 25, 2016
During Nelson's November BLUE NIGHT Culture Crawl, I will be hosting an opening of new paintings at BiBO Restaurant on and giving an Artist Talk at Booksmyth on Baker.
The OPENING will be on Friday the 25th, from 7-10pm during the Culture Crawl. New acrylic paintings accent the lovely brick walls and locally sourced food of BiBO Restaurant. Music will be offered by The SugarBear (www.soundcloud.com/thesugarbear)
The ARTIST TALK will on Saturday the 26th, starting at 7pm at Booksmyth (338 Baker Street). I will speaking about some of the projects I've done, my process, and the new body of work that is brewing this year.
Hope to see you there!
August 12, 2016
Every year Shambhala Electronic Music Festival creates an art gallery where participants can view art in a whole new way, and in a whole new environment. Over the years, many of BC's visionary artists have exhibited there, and now the term visionary has blossomed to include art that may not have the same digital effects, but still has the trans-formative and heart-piercing affect on the viewer. Come laugh and feel your way out of your mind and into the new paradigm. I'll see you there.
Oxygen Art Market, Nelson BC
May 27, 2016
The 6th Annual Oxygen Art Market will take place on
May 27, 28, 29, 2016
Hours: Friday 7-10pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am – 5pm
320 Vernon Street (back alley entrance) in Nelson
Every year, the Oxygen Art Market attracts hundreds of art-lovers to the Oxygen Art Centre and it’s no wonder! Over 40 established and emerging Kootenay artists submit their paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and other 2D work for this weekend-long event. The work is hung “Salon” style, in the manner of the Académie des Beaux–Arts exhibitions in Paris at the turn of the century, where work was hung on every available wall space from ceiling to floor. With over 150 pieces on display, the hanging is a major undertaking for the volunteer committee, and it makes for a striking event.
'Stephanie Kellett's Wild Vision' - cover story of ARTiculate - spring/summer 2016
May 15, 2019
A beautiful article on my artistic process written by Robert E. Livingood that made the cover of our region-wide arts and culture magazine. I couldn't be more thrilled!
"Encountering the work of Stephanie Kellett immediately gives one the sense of her wild vision....
Finding Our Way Back Home is her latest body of work.
Inspired by a three-week excursion during which she followed one of British Columbia's largest recorded sockeye salmon runs, the series begins where the salmon break from the Fraser River, then head west into the teal blue waters of the Chilcotin River system between Bella Coola and Williams Lake. Each painting depicts key moments along the migration route that flows over the vast, semi-arid Chilcotin Plateau...."
To read the full article: http://www.wkartscouncil.com/articulate/Articulate%20Summer%202016%20web.pdf
Finding Our Way Back Home - a multi-media exhibit
November 20, 2015
Once upon a time, there was a world un-marred by human fingerprints. It was a time when the land sung so loudly that it would wake you up in the middle of the night. The wild ones roamed freely and without constant fear. The salmon water roads were not yet blocked by dams, and coming home was a tremendous effort, but never a question. Today very few places on the earth still exist in this way. The Chilcotin plateau is one of them. It is fiercely protected by the Xeni Gwet'in people, and remains largely free of human presence and development. It was here that Robert E. Livingood and Stephanie Kellett spent three weeks last fall, following the Salmon as they journeyed up the Fraser River, through desert landscapes, and into the pure glacier fed waters of the Chilcotin. Along the way they camped amongst herds of wild horses, and sat with giant grizzlies who were congregating to feast at the mouth of the Chilko River. This one night only exhibit is an offering to that wild place, and a sharing of that wildness with you. Paintings, video, soundscapes and text will come together to give voice to that which does not speak in words.
Treasure Within - new mural collaboration
November 01, 2015
The Kootenay region is home to so many colorful characters. The new mural recently painted on the east wall of Rambling Rose's Secondhand Treasure in the Spicer Centre celebrates them.
Stephanie Kellett and Tanya Pixie Johnson created an illustrative tale of two strong, creative, and resourceful characters hunting treasure on golden waters. A loving raccoon and an independant (and fashionable) woman gather wordly ideas, practices, and wares to enrich the lives of the people they head home to. They gently paddle upstream, through the golden light of an almost sunset, and the sweet musk of roses. The only sound a pop and crackling record on the gramophone.
Never Cry Wolf - mural in Nelson cafe
November 01, 2015
Stephanie Kellett is a local Kootenay multi-media artist. Her work is the culmination of a passion for both art and wildness. An artist whose work stems from listening to the voices of the land around her, she is inspired and informed by the subtle information she feels and gathers when she's outside, often on multiple week wilderness trips, and then creates the work inside her studio in Winlaw. Never Cry Wolf is a mural celebrating the beauty and tenderness of wolves. The winter of 2104/15 saw a huge cull of the returning wolf population in the Kootenay region. This mural is both an offering and an apology.
Coyote Falls In Love With Rain - Winlaw Minimart mural
November 01, 2015
Today we actually put paint on the wall. We got it almost everywhere in fact. It was a day of not-quite comprehending that it was actually happening; completely present and on-task, but floating regardless. It was terrifying and liberating to watch the first roller-fulls of paint gush and bleed pastel all over the north wall of Winlaw's very own gas station, liquor and convenience store. The Race Trac Gas and Mini-Mart was letting five female freaks mural on all over their building. How terrified Peter Kim must have been. He's been so pleasant and accommodating since the moment the project was conceived on a dark evening in February 2014, but today, a September Friday later, he looked like he was floating too. My heart felt for him. He was being so brave. It sounded like a good idea, to have a mural around his place of business. But artists are most-often freaks, and when a group of them gather outside your business for hours everyday, streaking and dripping pastel colored mist all over your periwinkle grey wall, you'd wonder what you let in the front door.
By the end of the first day, I started to comprehend what we were doing. We were changing history in Winlaw. We were making a very large mark, not only the artists, but Peter. We were taking artistic license. We were working as a group. People were loving it. I've never met so many people in the community in one day, and all of them were getting both color and a performance piece. Even Peter seemed more relaxed by the end of the day.