Michelle Kelly

Installation, Jewellery, Metal, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Wearables, Wall work

Mycology - the study of fungi, is the inspiration for Michelle Kelly's artworks. Kelly is drawn to the multiple intricacies, forms, colours and layered structures which make up this amazing fifth kingdom. She aims to capture the beauty and structure of fungi and explores their ecological role in decomposing, recycling and breaking down nutrients from other plant forms.

Kelly utilises traditional metal-smithing techniques while experimenting with different metals, surface treatments, patination applications and kinetic movement. Whether subtle or obvious, there is always some degree of movement in her work, giving each piece a unique visual experience as the forms continuously change.

Michelle Kelly studied Jewellery Production at Curtin University, Western Australia. In 2015 she was winner of the Indoor Prize, Brighton Jetty Sculpture Classic. She has exhibited widely in South Australia and nationally in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and regionally.

Kelly says that she aspires to capture the essence of the fungi which is a hidden treasure doing thankless tasks to help make this planet work.

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8.forest%20of%20fungi detail
Cookeina shelf black detail
Cookeina shelf red detail1
Cookeina neckpiece.%20silver%2c%2014ct%20gold02

CV Highlights

Solo Exhibitions

2017, Collections Project, Museum of Economic Botany, Adelaide, SA
2015, Fungicidal, Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
2011, Hidden Treasures, Craft ACT, Canberra, ACT
2010, Cookeina Collection, Studio Ingot, Melbourne, VIC
2010, Fifth Kingdom, Crucible Gallery, Artisan, Brisbane, QLD
2009, Fifth Kingdom, Metalab, Sydney, NSW
2008, Fifth Kingdom, Atrium, JamFactory, Adelaide, SA

Group Exhibitions

2014, SALA, Terrace Floors and Furnishings, Adelaide, SA
2014, About Zu design, Zu Design, Adelaide, SA
2013, New Collections Showcase, Studio 20/17, Sydney, NSW
2013, Miniature, Pembroke SHS, Kensington Park, Adelaide, SA
2012, The Grass is Greener, Zu Design, Adelaide, SA
2012, Wear a piece of Adelaide, Adelaide College of the Arts, Adelaide, SA
2011, Room for Growth, Prospect Gallery, Prospect, SA
2011, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Artisan, Brisbane, QLD (Touring Show)
2011, Contemporary Wearables, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, QLD
2011, Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork, Buda Historic Home and Garden, Castlemaine & ArtsCentre, Melbourne, VIC
2011, Underfoot. Overhead, Object Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2010, Summer Mode, Art Images, Adelaide, SA
2010, Cherish, Artisan, Brisbane, QLD
2010, Teawares, Gallery 1, JamFactory, Adelaide, SA
2010, Return, Central Gallery, Tafe, Perth, WA
2010, JMGA Members Exhibition, Perth Galleries, North Fremantle, WA
2009, Christmas Show ’09, Studio 20/17, Sydney, NSW
2009, Explorations ’09, Gaffa, Sydney, NSW
2009, Guildford Lane Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2009, Whyalla Art Prize, Middleback Theatre, Whyalla, SA
2008, Waterhouse Prize, SA Museum, Adelaide, SA
2008, National Archives of Australia, Canberra, ACT
2008, Design Now, Country Arts SA, Touring Exhibition of rural SA
2008, JMGA Conference, Adelaide Airport Display, SA
2007, Biennial, Gallery 1, JamFactory, Adelaide, SA
2007, Sixfold, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2007, Mettle, Studio Retail Gallery, JamFactory, Adelaide, SA
2007, Contemporary Wearables, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Qld
2007, Catch On 2, COEX Convention and Exhibition Centre, Seoul, Korea
2006, Jambox, Studio Retail Gallery, JamFactory, SA
2006, Expeditions ’06, Metalab Studio and Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2006, Grasp, Horus and Delorus, Sydney, NSW


2004, Postgraduate Diploma, Jewellery Production, Curtin University, WA
2002, Certificate IV Sculpture, Bunbury TAFE, WA
1988-1990, BA (Visual Arts), Jewellery, Metal & 3D Design, Curtin University, WA


2015, Indoor Sculpture Winner, Brighton Jetty Classic Sculpture, SA
2008, Third Prize, Sculpture Category, Waterhouse Prize, SA Museum, Adelaide, SA

Michellekelly glossybrownfungus

Glossy Brown Bracket Fungi (detail), 2015, patinated cast bronze, 2400mm x 1200mm. Image courtesy the artist.

Michelle Kelly | The Collections Project

The Collections Project 2017 at the Botanic Gardens of South Australia (BGSA) is a collaborative project between Guildhouse and the Botanic Gardens that provides artists with the opportunity to respond to the extensive collection of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and develop new work for exhibition at the Santos Museum of Economic Botany. Home to an amazing permanent collection, much of which dates back to the original museum display 130 years ago, the Santos Museum of Economic Botany is the last Museum of its kind in the world. Artists working with BGSA will not only have access to this collection but also the Garden’s living collection, library & State Herbarium.

The outcome of Michelle’s project will be exhibited at the Santos Museum of Economic Botany from 13 August to 24 September 2017

New Work

Time & Date
10.00am 13 Aug 2017 - 5.00pm 20 Sep 2017

Museum of Economic Botany
Botanic Gardens
North Tce
Adelaide 5000
South Australia Australia