Considering links between us and the forest

FEBRUARY 1 TO 25, 2017

LYNN CHRISTINE KELLY  bridging the gap   oil on linen, 36x72inches

bridging the gap
oil on linen, 36x72inches

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
Robert Louis Stevenson          

Dreamscape  (diptych) Oil on linen 72” x 84”

Dreamscape (diptych)
Oil on linen
72” x 84”

Connections 4  Oil on linen,  24” x 24”

Connections 4
Oil on linen,
24” x 24”

Over the rainbow  Oil on linen 72” x 48”

Over the rainbow
Oil on linen
72” x 48”

Lynn Christine Kelly states that she has learned for herself the need to be in nature more than she has been of late and the last few years have really brought that home to her.  “Many may laugh at the idea put forth by Richard Louv when he coined the phrase ‘nature deficit disorder’ ”, she says, but for her it felt exactly right and she is happy to have a name for it. She doesn’t refer to his theories on the impact on children, but simply to her own experience. “I need to connect more with the rest of nature and I find trees to be true friends and the forests a haven.  With not enough time spent away from noise and congestion, breathing in oxygen rich air and absorbing the serenity and silence, I was constantly overly stressed and anxious.”  When she takes the ideas put forth by Suzanne Simard at the University of British Columbia, that trees are beings more similar to ourselves than ever before imagined having family ties, connecting and communicating with each other, providing care and support, and raising their young to be strong and resilient, and melds it with her response to the phrase coined by Louv, Kelly says the mental image of roots, surrounding, supporting, ultimately overwhelming and becoming one with humankind’s footprint seems an obvious result to her. 

In this body of work, Kelly says a bit of travel meets a bit of history meets a bit of fantasy.  Images of roots taking over crumbling arches and sturdy branches expanding to create their own arches are the mainstay of the paintings. The sculptures offer more visceral, illusory renditions of the idea of trees slowly taking over as humans fade from the scene. 

Lynn Christine Kelly is a graduate of the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK (2008) and the BFA program at the Ontario College of Art and Design, with Distinction (2006).She has exhibited nationally and internationally, has work in Canadian corporate collections as well as private collections worldwide, and has received numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council. Kelly currently lives and works in Toronto and is a member of the Red Head Gallery.