KELLY / MARHAUG an artist collaboration between Traci Kelly and Rita Marhaug. Traci Kelly (UK) has a PhD from University of Reading whilst Rita Marhaug (1965, Norway) has her MA degree from Bergen Academy of Art and Design in 1989, where she has worked as professor in printmaking for many years, in addition to her BA in Art History from the University of Bergen in 1996.


Traci Kelly on her background:  Born in England, in a slum close to Nottingham railway station, I was surrounded by migrants, steel bands playing on the street corner and reggae blasting out of bedroom windows... At primary school I was awarded a prize for imaginative story writing and also won a competition for painting a Grebe on the River Trent. Quiet and shy, I couldn't quite make sense of the world.

Later in life, childhood inclinations for imaginative language and creative out-workings began to resurface urgently and I progressed as a mature student through art education, before finally gaining a doctorate based on collaboration. Positioning my voice in the world as an independent artist/scholar, I now work in various artistic and educational contexts in Europe. 

Rita Marhaug held a professorship at Bergen Academy of Art and Design 2007-13, in the Department of Fine Art. Since the early 1990's Marhaug has participated in a great numbers of solo and group exhibitions and performance festivals both in Norway and internationally. November 2011 she was the co-founder of member organization Performance Art Bergen.  In 2014 she is awarded a two-month residency supported by Bergen Council at PointB,Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.


Traci Kelly: I love talking, and the tangents and meanderings conversations create. I am drawn towards making 'things' with other people - my collaborators, instigators and agitators - but sometimes I need my own space in order to make solo works, to journey and to reflect. Without hierarchy, my artistic practice bleeds across performance and still works, text and lens, curating and writing: multiple disciplines converge and interrogate one another as I seek different alliances in shifting configurations.  

Rita Marhaug writes of her practice: My approach to performance - from the very beginning - has been through the basic tools of the body, meaning little use of objects and other requisites. The everyday language of bodily behaviour and bodily normality is my basic source of inspiration to my work and the concrete body's dimensions are often the theme in my action. I have used my experience from sports, my role as mother and work as artist over more than 20 years to develop individual performances. The form and content are of equal importance and interest. From the audience perspective, I hope my work can open up for new and further reflection on this.

Later years a new perspective in my works have emerged; An attempt to fuse different levels of symbol and reality into one. My work made for Infr'Action Venezia May-13 is an example of this strategy.


From Site Reflections

Apertures & Architectures, Traci Kelly