Carol kelly


At 16 I left home and trained to be a ballerina, at 57 during lockdown I discovered a way to recapture some of the intense joy of being in a studio again.

My body has many injuries after years of dancing especially my neck. One day in the depths of loneliness and anxiety, scared witless by the pandemic, I switched on Vivaldi’s 4 seasons put a brush in my left hand to save the right side of my neck and started to move on the canvas as if I were dancing. A year on I am in the midst of creating my second collection of paintings.
My other great passion is poetry. Mary Oliver’s work taught me to heal the traumas of my childhood by going into nature alone and to pay acute attention. Her words inspire me daily. Virginia Woolf has anchored me for decades, teaching me rhythm and courage.

I usually write about the work I’m creating and the words are in the layers unseen but some texture remains. Vases are containers for emotions and flowers represent the beauty of expressing emotion through paint. I love choreographing my pieces layer by layer trying to capture the life force within the flowers.