Multiple Cultural Identity Project (MCI)
John Kelly grew up in Sunshine, a working class industrial suburb to the west of Melbourne; an idyllic sounding place to newly arrived immigrants.
Kelly’s desire to attend art school was made possible when his mother won a “Win a Wish” competition, paying for tuition at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Kelly went on to complete his Masters in painting in 1995 and subsequently was awarded the Anne and Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship as well as a number of Visual Arts Board grants.
Kelly held his first solo exhibition at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne in 1988, and has continued to exhibited biannually.
Kelly's work explores the concept of “branding the arts”, working with imagery and ideas derived from official policy and the kangaroo and sun logo of the Australia Council for the Arts.
In 2006, a major exhibiton of Kelly’s monumental sculpture was mounted at McClelland Gallery+Sculpture Park. Deconstructing Australia contained several large-scale sculptures which continued the theme of the logo in his art.