Kelly Burgess Art
Website: Kelly Burgess Art
Artist Kelly Burgess grew up in a fishing village on the south shore of Nova Scotia. At 17 she completed the foundation year at NSCAD and at 19 moved to Los Angeles where she started and operated a small women’s accessory company for nearly a decade. She says, “Upon returning to Canada in the early 2000s the idea came to me, not coincidentally with the passing of my grandmother, to combine the whimsical images from my childhood with art and fabric.”
She continues, “If I had to choose a childhood memory that defines my work as an artist it would be sitting on top my grandfather’s boat as we left harbour surrounded by salt spray, cold air, sunshine and gulls.” Kelly’s work illustrates everyday life by the water, incorporating sheds, houses, fishing boats, gulls, crows, fishermen, women hanging laundry, men hanging cod, lighthouses, dogs, cats, fish, mackerel barrels, buoys, trucks, trees, flowers and the ocean.
Kelly’s paternal grandmother is her ongoing inspiration, who valued hard work and praised creativeness. “During her life she worked with fabric out of necessity - mats, quilts, clothing. Like her I am disciplined and self-taught. Unlike her, I have the freedom to work with fabric in a creative setting, expressing beautiful and simple aspects of seaside life. When I was a young child she and I saw creatures of beauty unfurl in the clouds. In later years she saw beauty through her window while watching yard birds in the sun. After she died it seemed natural to combine fabric with creativeness as a way of remaining close to her.”
Of her prints and art cards, Kelly says, “My favorite colours are fishing boat colours. With familiar objects and primary colours guiding me I produce work of a whimsical style reflecting my early years.” She adds, “I like to think that when you look at my work you are not only seeing what I see but also the beauty of everyday life my grandmother saw. Her gift was in teaching me to find that beauty. My purpose in life is to capture it and share it with you.”
At this year’s Saltscapes Expo, Kelly will be showcasing 8x10” prints and promoting the opening of her new store, Kelly Burgess Art at 32 Government Wharf Road at Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage - just ten minutes outside of Dartmouth. Please join us in welcoming Kelly to Saltscapes Expo 2018.