'Shit Picnic', Neil Kelly

Painting showing a blue picnic mat by an electrity pylon in an otherwise barren field on an overcast day

Enamel on board, 62.5 x 65.4cm, 2005

Artist's statement

The imagery I select for my works comes from a rigorous trawling of memory and the summarising of experience. Often I draw on visions of my everyday vernacular, forgotten times, incidents and places. I then subject it to reduction and editing. At this point I am able to reconnect with my imagery and assign to it new meaning.

'Shit Picnic', like its title, appears to be deceptively simple, perhaps highlighted by my awkward and flat application of paint. The picnic is set in a dull and compromised environment that contributes to its strange silence. There are no electricity cables humming here and no people eating. Like much of my other work it could appear as an artless statement, fractured and out of place, adding to the incomprehensible totality.


Neil Kelly was born in Dover in 1973. He studied at Canterbury College 1995-96, the University of Derby 1996-99 and Wimbledon School of Art London 2003-04. Group shows include Intermission Space 44 London 2004, Chase Contemporary Art Exhibition Royal College of Art 2001-05, Creekside Open APT Gallery London 2005 and R.S.V.P. Mash Potato Gallery London 2006. His various artist-led projects include Something for the Weekend (Brixton) London 2004 and Don’t Give up the Day Job (joint show) and Now Wash Your Hands (group show), both CBA (Cor Blimey Arts) Studio Gallery London 2005.