Fungi (Paxillus Involutus) c.1990
Gouache on paper
13 February – 30 June 2013
Hamilton Gallery will represent respected Ararat artist and conservationist, the late Stan Kelly OAM, with an exhibition of his rarely viewed fungi paintings.
Kelly was a self-taught artist who achieved national recognition for his life-long devotion to the study and painting of Australian native flora. Kelly was an engine driver working on the Victorian railways during his life which enabled him to travel and collect specimens for his botanical paintings.
Widely recognised for this contribution to the botanical art field, his drawings of all the Australian eucalypts remains a classic reference. In the 1960s, Kelly’s paintings were published in the books ‘Eucalypts Volume I & II’, which represent a near complete record of Australian eucalypts at the time of their publication. It is also these eucalypt drawings that now decorate Australian passports.
Not as widely known or publicised, in the early 1980s, Kelly began work on an another body of work documenting Australian fungi. His representation of the variations in shape and colour demonstrate his ability to capture both the familiar and rare aspects of each specimen. Kelly produced a substantial survey of the fungi however given the immensity of the task, the project was never really completed when Stan passed away in 2001.
The fungi paintings where never published, yet Kelly did generously supply these paintings to decorate a set of greeting cards to support Amnesty International. These acts of generosity and in recognition of his service to the community Kelly was awarded the Order of Australia Medal. With Kelly’s passing Australia lost a great ambassador for natural history. The legacy of his talent and dedication to the natural environment lives on thought the exhibiting of his detailed works.