Painter Kelly Hood, of English-Irish descent, returned to her mother's native townland near Dingle in 1984. One of the old Kerry line of Russell, Paroiste na Cille become her home and the place of discovery for her Irish heritage. A fluent Gaeilgeoir, Kelly graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design and now works as a freelance graphic artist as well as painting in oils. Kelly Hood is a self-taught artist, heavily influenced by modern Irish painters such as J.B Vallely, John Lavery and Paul Henry. Her palette of sparkling textures and strong monochrome colours define the characters of her subjects while also capturing true like images.
"My work is not intended to be ambitious art in the sense of modernism or post modernism,” observes the artist. "The work is more of an intuitive response to my surroundings”.
For Kelly Hood painting is a matter of gritty loyalty. She is burdened and blessed by her obsession with West Kerry. It has provided her with subject matter whilst she pursued his artistic career in Dublin. It is a microcosm through which she has captured and chronicled images of our time. These subjects cover a variety of human types and experiences such as fishermen, men saving the hay, men bringing home the turf, old men engrossed in gossip and story telling, the momentum of Dingle Horse Races, psychological portraits of Irelands peoples, and not forgetting that time honoured West Kerry tradition – drinking.
“The choice of monochrome palette was a challenge, one inspired by the old black and white photographs of my family who were farmers and fisherman, people who lived by the land and the swell of the sea”.
Rose Rushe Arts Correspondent | Limerick Post
“My vision and aspirations as an artist are derived from the simplicity and beauty that surrounds us. Through these things we can learn to appreciate all elements of life and nature. As an artist it is vital for me that my visual expressions are easily interpreted as a positive emotion to uplift the mind and soul in a celebration of life.”