Rose Finn-Kelcey

Rose Finn-Kelcey (b. 1945, Northampton, d. 2014, London) studied at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design and Chelsea School of Art, London. Finn-Kelcey lived and worked in London from 1968 and first came to prominence in the early 1970's. Her artistic oeuvre is characterised by unpredictability, with each work changing dramatically from one to the next. Invocations of the spiritual are a recurring motif in her work, which is s a complex amalgam of themes that investigate power, the dilemmas of mastery, the myth of the artist, the nature of collaboration, the surrogate performer, spirituality, longing and death. From 1975 - 1985 Finn-Kelcey's work was almost entirely performance based, including works such as One for Sorrow Two for Joy (Acme Gallery, London,1976) and The Boilermakers' Assistant (London Calling, 1978). In 1980, she introduced the idea of a 'vacated performance' in an effort to express a desire to be both inside and yet objectively outside a work, as epitomised by Mind the Gap, (ICA, London, 1980), Glory (Serpentine Gallery, 1983) and Black and Blue (Matt's Gallery, London, 1984). The late 80's saw a move to more installation based work with a performative element. In the early 90's, she made work that challenged the material and spiritual limits of our built environment, such as her room-sized block of steam (held in place by cold air curtains), (Chisenhale Gallery, London, 1992 and Saatchi Gallery, London, 1993). In 2007, Finn-Kelcey won the ACE Award for a public artwork, and she was Lead Artist on several projects for the re-development of Highbury Cornern from 2009 -2010.
Rose Finn-Kelcey's work can be found in national and international collections, most notably within The Tate Gallery Collection, The Arts Council Collection, The British Council Collection, The Victoria & Albert Collection, the Welkunst Foundation and the Bernard Starkman Collection.


Last updated: 22.10.2014