Christobel Kelly was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1956. In 2011 she completed a Bachelor of Visual Art and Design at Adelaide College of the Arts. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Visual Arts Honours in 2012 and Masters of Visual Arts Research in 2015 at the University of South Australia and was a recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship. She has also been a beneficiary of several artist residencies including King's Bridge Cottage in Launceston, Tasmania, the Sauerbier House Residency, Port Noarlunga South Australia and the international Ballinglen Arts Foundation Residency, which allows her to work in Ballycastle, North Mayo in the Republic of Ireland as a Fellow of the Foundation.
Kelly has lectured in art history at Adelaide College of the Arts/Flinders University. Her writing has been published in the International Journal of the Book, Imprint Magazine and Time Space and the Human Body: an Interdisciplinary Look, edited by R Narváez and L Mallard.
Kelly was twice selected for the Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition and has exhibited widely, including the international exhibitions Border Crossing, 2010 and Consonance, 2017. She has had five solo exhibitions and numerous group shows. In 2011 she was awarded the National Association for the Visual Art’s Ignition prize for art practice, and in 2014 she received the Friends of the South Australian School of Art travel grant, which enabled her to travel to Oxford, London and Paris as an arts researcher. A survey exhibition of her work was held at West Gallery Thebarton in 2016.
Her work is held in Australian and international collections including the Art Gallery of South Australia, University of Adelaide Collection,City of Onkaparinga, SA, Ballinglen Contemporary Arts Museum, Republic of Ireland, SF Electric Works, San Francisco, California, the San Francisco Centre for the Book, California, Blue Mouse Studio Monterey, California.
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