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A Time Otherwhere, John Kelly and Christina Todesco-Kelly Exhibition at UCC Library: Home

University College Cork (UCC) Library is proud to present:


A Time Otherwhere

John Kelly & Christina Todesco-Kelly


The internationally acclaimed artist John Kelly grew up in Australia, but has lived on the Reen Peninsula in West Cork for about twenty years. In 2018, after a chronic illness, he suffered seizures and had to be rushed to hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma. A rare and life-threatening form of vasculitis was diagnosed, and it took almost seven months of hospital care, discharges and relapses before the condition was fully controlled.

‘A Time Otherwhere’ is a record of that dislocated time, an evocation of the strangeness of being a patient with a neurological condition in the hospital environment, and an exhibition of the resources of creativity in extremis. Throughout the period of his illness Kelly filled sketchpads with drawings − playing with motifs familiar from his previous work (logo-like kangaroos, papier-maché cows, arid landscapes) but given strange new configurations − as well as brief notes and self-instructions. In addition, his wife Christina, an accomplished artist herself, sketched the patient, and the various accessories of life in a hospital bed, throughout what was for her a time of severe anxiety.

These sketches are the main matter of the show, which also transcribes texts written by Kelly about his experience, and presents a sample of the work, painting and sculpture, made since the period of crisis, work that draws on the ideas and reconfigurations of the sketchbooks.

The show is curated by the art critic and editor of Enclave Review Fergal Gaynor.