Kelly McDonald: Keeping It Real
Masking It

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Sometimes there are just no words

Masking It is the final of the three micro shows in Keeping it Real. Collected from previous bodies of work, the following images attest to my obsession with masks, specifically the 1879 steel helmet and body armour of Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly.


My interests centre around a mask’s ability to simultaneously conceal and reveal, to frame the eye and focus the gaze, and to the disparity between looking and really seeing.

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A Spoonful II. Object, 2019, Steel, brass spoon handle


Modelled by Roseanne Bartley, who also wears Manon van Kouswijk’s lips. Photographed by Manon at Radiant Pavilion 2019.

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Sid’s Ned (brooch) 2014, Steel, silver, 24ct gold

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Left: Facey lock plate (pendant) 2015. Steel door lock plate, washer 

Right: Big Bolter (pendant) 2015, Brass door bolt, steel

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Sid’s Ned II (Object) 2018,  Steel

Kelly McDonald, Condorman, 2019

Condorman (Neckpiece) 2019. Steel

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Shadow play while Condorman was installed at The National, Christchurch.

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Looking and Seeing (brooch) 2019. Brass, silver

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A Spoonful (Object) 2019




A very large thank you to Creative New Zealand for funding Gallery Faux, Occupation: Artist’s latest initiative. This project has been incredibly generative for me. I began it with very little experience of social media and being unsure about how to get back into making post Lockdown. As a consequence of this project I have new lines of inquiry, I’ve lost my fear of ‘posting’ and I’m back at the bench each day. Thank you again CNZ, I am very grateful.