“What is wonderful about clay is that anything you imagine can become real.”
Born in Leeds in 1960, Christopher Kelly is a celebrated artist and sculptor, graduating from the Cardiff Institute of Higher Education in 1984 with a First Class Honours degree in Fine Art.
A master of his craft, Kelly works with spontaneity, engaging a range of mediums and a variety of techniques to create dynamic, textural three dimensional works that appear to truly ‘live’. Kelly’s approach allows the materials to lead the journey his work takes from conception to completion. His extensive knowledge, understanding and respect for any chosen medium, from bronze and wood to steel and wax, allows him to act as a collaborator with his materials, deftly encouraging the creation to come to being rather than attempting to dominate the outcome with a heavy hand. His work is often layered with symbolism; every piece holding a story that draws the viewer to return again and again.
“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
As a curator he has presented notable exhibitions including 22 Fine Artists (1979 – 1981), Word and Image, (1995) and has also worked with renowned installation artists including Mona Hatoum, Mags Harries and David Nash. His oeuvre extends to the fields of theatre and television, and he has collaborated with The Royal Shakespeare Company and Chelsea Flower Show.
In 2022 Kelly created a sculptural response to Norwegian artist Danny Larsen’s UK debut exhibition, From The Shadows, ‘Heads, Falls, Tears’. Created using bronze and threaded steel wire, the striking sculpture is a compelling, visceral exploration on the darkness and light housed within the human psyche, perfectly capturing the essence of From The Shadows with arresting clarity.
More recently Kelly has worked closely with fellow artist Thomas James Butler to bring his vision of two stunning sculptural pieces to fruition – ‘Peace Is In Us’ and ‘Here, I Got You These’. Shown in Oslo, Norway earlier this summer as part of Infinite Nature, each is set to go on display again alongside a selection of Kelly’s original pieces for Infinite Nature, the UK Edition, August 2023.
With a career spanning over thirty years in the creative arts, Kelly’s critically and publicly acclaimed work has been exhibited across the UK and internationally, including the Netherlands, South America and Israel. His public commissions can be viewed around the UK and globally. Considered important cultural landmarks – both a familiar source of pride and recognition for those who live nearby, and a point of interest for visitors seeking to gain knowledge of local history and heritage.
“I want the people to see it on a daily basis and to feel a sense of ownership towards it.”
Kelly currently lives and works in Harrogate North Yorkshire.