Untitled Document

Against Nature - Andrew Gellatly + Roger Kelly

Date: 4 October – 19 November 2004


The relationship between man and nature is central to Roger Kelly’s work. At the core of this is the relationship between experience, memory, and history. Nature absorbs, erodes and engulfs mankind’s tracks and histories leading to the eventual failure of permanence of purpose, event; of memory.

The process Roger employs is to create work that reflects these themes in the way that it first deconstructs a figurative composition and then partially reconstructs a revised, painted image. The process highlights the relationship between figuration and abstraction; this in turn mirrors the quiet conflict studied in the subject matter.

The compositions usually depict fictional places and subjects, being based on a number of separate actual and invented components. The use of linear drawing, printing and painting techniques, alongside photography and collage, has remained constant in his current practice but increasingly he is moving away from a tendency to appropriate the various elements within the work in favour of drawing almost exclusively from field trips and first person visual research.

His most recent work has begun to investigate objects sourced from forgotten military and memorial sites – anonymous sculptural objects reminiscent of bunkers, fortifications and gravestones, abandoned and being assimilated by the landscape that surrounds them, their histories or purpose becoming gradually lost or changed as they are engulfed. The work also investigates the notion that the landscape in this context can be interpreted as a malevolent, rather than passive force, and is based in part on various visits to the South East England coastal area.

(Download PDF for full essay / text)