Class of 2021 • Sculpture

Orla Kelly

National College of Art and Design


Graduation Year
Class of 2021


I like to tell stories in my work. To capture moments, characters, and very specific feelings. I am interested in doing this through contradictions and deceptions. My work this year focused on unwanted interactions that come from a place of unjust entitlement and desire. Interactions that embody starkly opposing emotions. The work is deceptively playful. The figures are direct depictions of moments of unwelcome touch. These moments lure in the viewer using colours and textures that tempt, but contradict their appearance with the narrative they create. There is a strange area between desire and aggression, and in thinking about this duality I was drawn to the process of tufting. The soft seductive textures of the rugs, and their playful form, in contrast to their aggressive narrative and the harsh contexts in which I have displayed them creates a duality around the work that is important in my own practice, and even more important in the conversation I am creating.
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