Kelly’s video, drawings, installations and sculptures have centered on her awareness of time, its passing, wasting, marking, keeping, through the recording of repetitive tasks and ordinary unnoticed moments. Of her interest in the mundane and everyday, the artist says, “I have always had an intense preoccupation with the differing shades of pathos and humour found in the repetitive mundane tasks, routines and rituals of everyday life. Hidden within these spans of time can be found startling moments of poetic individuation, and an imprint of the individual within the commonplace rituals of society. Individuation, especially within this uniformity, although subtle and frequently paradoxical, is something I find myself returning to again and again. Through my will to order and my frequently inane sense of humour my objective is the investigation, documentation and validation of these singular marked and unmarked moments of our lives...”
“The dry transfer display typefaces known as Letraset entered the market in 1961, and remained in use until computers made paste-up layout obsolete. Today, Letraset has a more esoteric status and is chiefly used by model builders and hobbyists. The self-adhesive letters, graphic symbols, and numerals are applied by burnishing individual characters onto a surface, then peeling away their vellum backing, It is a laborious process requiring patience and care, demands typical of the working methods favored by Kelly Mark.
“Drawing may be thought of as the recording or developing of visual ideas. Mark refers to her Letraset works as ‘drawings.’ While this designation situates her deployment of ready-made vinyl characters among historical practices of creative mark-making, it also admits the less-serious connotation of doodling or sketching, which Mark says she prefers. The Letraset drawings imply that typography communicates culturally-specific preferences. Through her seemingly idle play with letterforms, Mark channels the modernist formal syntaxes found in Constructivism, Dada, Futurism, even Lettrism—all of which incorporate letterforms—in response to the aesthetic genealogy of original Letraset font design. Perhaps such art historical erudition is best worn lightly by one who take pleasure in the sensual allure of broken language.” —Ingrid Jenkner Beyond Words (exhibition catalog) Mount Saint Vincent University Gallery, Halifax
Kelly has exhibited widely across Canada and internationally including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), The Power Plant (Toronto), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), The Darling Foundry (Montreal), Musee d'Art Contemporain (Montreal); MSVU Art Gallery (Halifax), Bass Museum (Miami), University of Houston (Texas), Real Art Ways (Hartford), The Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), Ikon Gallery (UK), Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland), The Physics Room (New Zeeland), Netwerk Centre for Contemporary Art (Belgium). She represented Canada in both the 1998 Sydney Biennale and the 2006 Liverpool Biennial. Her work is included in the public collections of The National Gallery of Canada, The Canada Council Art Bank, Canadian Foreign Affairs, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Musee D'Art Contemporain, and many other public, corporate and private collections. Kelly works in a variety of media including: sculpture, video, installation, drawing, photography, sound, multiples, performance & public interventions.