Angelina Turner and Rea Kelly, in the exhibition statement of the show
"Beneath the Skin is a visual exploration into the bodies that we inhabit and the identities we assume as we navigate our minds and the world around us.
Human anatomy is intertwined with plants and other forms of life, grounding our physical being to the natural world and the organisms that our cells become. Amongst the bodies are faces that are stripped down to our emotional core, all while the surface of skin remains. Together, these works embody the physical and psychological realities of the human experience. These are the realities that connect us as individuals and assign a value to human beings beyond what our eyes can see."
Derek Knight, from his essay CODA: Into the Forest of Signs, a written response to the exhibition
"Across the room on the other side are paintings by Rea Kelly. They draw attention back to the human condition, less the figure than a psychological reckoning –floating ghoulish heads that signal an anxiety in each of us. This is portraiture unhinged from its representational role and instead charged with the electricity of the dream state and the darkness from which these mask-like entities emerge. If they recall the rituals of spirit dances or the Neo-expressionist works of Francesco Clemente or Susan Rosenberg, they are confident monikers in their ability to conjure a viscous vitality on recycled canvases. Teeth (2021) is vivid in its display of emotion and fleeting imagery (is it three or four heads?), which reminds this writer of popular cinematic memes such as the Joker in the 2019 film as played by Joaquin Phoenix who exudes a manic vitality on the screen. Kelly has the ability to transfix the viewer with her heavy pigmented colour, emphatic characterization and bold gestures. Don’t Look (2021) is a ghoulish composition in which four figures are mesmerized by the manifestation of a floating apparition –while this cannot be confused with noumenal life, it cloys at our psyche."
Sarah Martin, Curator, in the exhibition statement of the show
"Transitioning from an online platform back to a physical exhibition offered students a reflection on what 'regular' student life used to be. The excitement of having your work in a gallery and professionally displayed - even if the experience is only online - still reminds us that our practises are important and deserve to be celebrated."