Brian Kielt is a painter based in mid-Ulster who makes work about memory, trauma and anxiety. Titled Confessional, this solo exhibition features portraits and landscapes which combine found and original imagery. The shifting perspectives of these paintings prompts the viewer to – physically – take a position on these events, as we alter our stance to understand everything we are seeing and what it is trying to tell us.
Drawing on historical documents – particularly those from events of national and international shame such as genocide, war and famine – can teach us how to understand ourselves. Kielt weaves figures, objects and landscapes from these pictures into a painted tapestry alongside personal archive material: images of figures, objects and landscapes from his own life.
The paintings in this exhibition particularly focus on human and animal nature. In the process of painting, Kielt is posing questions about how viewers of his work will respond to binaries such as victim and perpetrator, innocence and malice, and behaviour that is motivated by self-interest and/or survival. These ideas translate into areas of light and shade in the paintings, as well as a colour palette which is much more subtle and soft than previously – as if to imply grey areas which are much more nuanced. In one work we glimpse a subject expressing relief: possibly due to freedom, escape, or a sense of luck, though the muscles which control these expressions are the same as those which are used to convey pain.
In 2012 Kielt co-founded the LOFT collective and continues to collaborate with members on numerous projects. Awards include the University of Atypical iDA Award, and an Esmée Fairbairn-funded career enhancement programme at Golden Thread Gallery. He was a finalist in the ‘NI Young Artist of the Year’ award and was highly commended in the Moth Art Prize in 2019. His work has been included in multiple publications including The Visual Artists’ Ireland News Sheet, Occupy Paper and Tales from the Forest. This is Kielt’s fifth solo exhibition. His work has featured in several group shows and has work in private collections in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and the USA.
Brian Kielt: In Conversation
Join us for an informal gathering with Brian Kielt: In Conversation. This is a great opportunity to meet the artist, find out more about his creative process and the ideas that inform his practice.
Venue: University of Atypical, 109 – 113 Royal Avenue, Belfast
Date: Saturday 21 March 2020
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
All welcome. Light refreshments provided.
Opening Times: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm