kelly mccallum United Kingdom Painting

Artwork title : Totem

Kelly McCallum's series "Totems" builds on her practice of taking inspiration from the natural world in order to reflect psychological landscapes. Their abstraction is overlaid with echoes of snails, insects, and strange, ruminating animals. These works on paper operate in the interstitial space between conscious and subconscious, a hinterland which is neither fully real nor entirely dreamt.


Totems embody relationships between individuals, but, for McCallum, their creation was a reflection on the loneliness she was then experiencing in rural Portugal. This paradox — a relationship defined by solitude — leaves open the role of the observer in the continuing construction of these pieces. By bringing their own stories and meanings to "Totems", these observers join a widening 'kinship group', imbuing the works with a deepening sense of connectivity.


McCallum's "Totems" are born from isolation, but offer a pathway away from separation to a shared, but multivariant, experience. The "self" of their creation becomes the "many" of their consumption and redefinition.