Kelly McCallum loves creating in a multitude of media. Her work in all its forms is an on-going exploration of natural history, narrative, self-made myth, and story-telling.
She has a BFA (Rhode Island School of Design), a BSc (University of Massachusetts), and an MA (Royal College of Art).
McCallum’s works have been featured at the Royal College of Art, held in a number of private collections worldwide, and exhibited in countries including Canada, the United States, Germany, France, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Korea. She has shown pieces at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, Goldsmiths’ Hall, Sotheby's, Selfridges and Liberty's.
In 2017 she moved to the Algarve and set up a studio with a practice focusing on painting and works on paper.
Now back in London, McCallum is looking forward to expanding her recent body of work and bringing it to new audiences
Kelly McCallum's series "Totems" builds on her practice of taking inspiration from the natural world in order to reflect psychological landscapes. Their abstraction is overlaid with echoes of snails, insects, and strange, ruminating animals. These works on paper operate in the interstitial space between conscious and subconscious, a hinterland which is neither fully real nor entirely dreamt.
Totems embody relationships between individuals, but, for McCallum, their creation was a reflection on the loneliness she was then experiencing in rural Portugal. This paradox — a relationship defined by solitude — leaves open the role of the observer in the continuing construction of these pieces. By bringing their own stories and meanings to "Totems", these observers join a widening 'kinship group', imbuing the works with a deepening sense of connectivity.
McCallum's "Totems" are born from isolation, but offer a pathway away from separation to a shared, but multivariant, experience. The "self" of their creation becomes the "many" of their consumption and redefinition.