013: Kellie O’Dempsey – Make more Mistakes

Kellie O'Dempsey artistKellie O’Dempsey artist – MAKE MORE ‘MISTAKES’

Photographs by Maylei Hunt

Kellie is an Installation & Performance Drawing Artist

Focusing on live art and performance drawing Kellie O’Dempsey develops inclusive site-specific installations and performances. Working both solo and in collaboration with sound and contemporary dance, Kellie is currently completing a Doctorate in Visual Arts at Queensland College of Art in Brisbane.

Hybrid in form, incorporating projection, video, collage, architectural space, gestural line, performance and digital drawing Kellie describes her work as Performance Drawing. This diverse practice investigates notions of transformation through improvisation and happenstance. O’Dempsey’s public and private production aims to enable an inclusive form of cultural interaction via performance and play.

Combining hand drawn marks with digital projection and live animation this interdisciplinary approach is experiential and emergent. The performance drawing works invite the audience to engage directly with the visceral process of making.

Kellie’s performances include; Art after Dark, Pier2/3 18th Biennale of Sydney, MONA FOMA, Hobart, and The Firehouse, New York, White Nights Melbourne

Group shows include: 2014: Is this Art?- dLux Arterial Gallery, Sydney/ A general map of caves, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery NSW/ Finalist, Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2013: Drawn to experience, POP Gallery Queensland College of the Arts

She’s done drawings in live performance with musicians and dancers and improvises within a strategy that allows for spontaneity.

Drawing in the moment in front of a live audience who are witnessing the creation as it happens

The audience sometimes become part of the drawing and informs the drawing.

Rebelling against what was fashionable in the tradition of drawing. People still can draw and if they see it drawn in front of them, it’s a unique experience. Both the artist and the audience witness the result together.

Kellie shares her background of growing up in a family owned pub and being involved and connected with the public from an early age. Through this unusual lifestyle as a child she developed her ability to socially communicate and interact with the diversity of social culture.

She uses her ability to connect with people, which translates to her current work which is teaching and public interactive art.


  • The act of composing with old works.
  • That line you make in the moments has such an essence and honesty to them.
  • If you’re not making mistakes you’re not doing well. Encourages making mistakes and exploring.
  • Making mistakes and being willing to be uncomfortable.
  • Don’t try to envision the final drawing before they start. Be a designer to a drawing.
  • Take the masterpiece complex away. Otherwise you lose interest when it looks different to what you have in your head.
  • Embrace the “fight” and draw and wipe out and let go of preciousness.
  • Embrace the unknown in the creative process.


More about Kellie’s work

Vimeo link



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