Kelly Feil – Artist

Kelly Feil is a West Australian Photographic Artist and I spotted her and had a chat about her work while she was exhibiting as part of Art Melbourne In April 2010. She has a web presence at

Kelly has been involved in photography for over 10 years. She was fascinated by the dark room at a young age and marvelled at the image appearing on the page as the chemicals reacted with the paper. These days she works in a very different dark room and creates her images with digital manipulation.

Her surroundings have always been of interest to her and are often featured in her work. Influenced by the Surrealists and the more recent work of Australia’s own Jeffrey Smart. Kelly’s work varies from semi real to the very surreal or somewhat magical. It is this surreal sense she wants to portray to the world. For the audience to take a little piece of magic into their reality.

Kelly’s photography has won awards over the years and continues to be widely acclaimed. In 2009 she earned her Master of Photography ribbon through the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. One of her prints received a Gold Award in the Australian Professional Photographer of the Year Awards, this is one of the highest honours a print can achieve at a national level.


Who or what fascinates you?
Salvador Dali

How did you get into art?
I’ve been interested in photography since I studied it in high school. I worked in the photographic field for 10 years but always pushed for more than the everyday print. In pushing for something different I experimented with my style and started producing art pieces. It wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I decided to test the waters and make the transition to the art field.


Was your education helpful, or a hindrance?
It was helpful. I think any information is helpful, if u decide to take the positives from any education or seminar you will always learn something.

Was art a “thing” that was encouraged in your family?
My family have always been encouraging and supportive. I am the only art buff in my family and whilst they wonder where it comes from, they have always been supportive and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.


Has your work changed much since your early efforts? (e.g. as a student).
Absolutely, as I have matured so has my work. There is always so much of me in my work so when I am influenced my things so is my work.

Do you get to other artists exhibitions, openings etc?
As much as I can. I think its important to be aware of what is around you.


Do you have much contact with other artists?
Again as much as I can. I believe that’s how you learn and I never want to stop learning. I am a member of the AIPP and I attend as many events as I can.

Working towards an exhibition, is it a daunting task?
Of course it is. Other than the fact there is so much to organise, you are putting your heart and soul on a wall for people to fall in love with. There is nothing more daunting!


Some say the lifespan of many “artists” post educationally is about five years, any thoughts on that? I think no matter what industry you are in, you should never stop learning and you should never stop marketing and selling. If you never give up I believe you can go on as long as you want.


Do you keep an Art Journal or Visual Diary of some kind?
Yes and it goes with me to most places. You never know when you might be inspired with ideas.


Do you have a challenge knowing when a work is finished?
No, I think every piece speaks to you and relates to you. You know in your gut when it will go too far.


What about the role of titles with your work, some hate them others revel in them, what about you?
I hate titling my work because I like the audience to take from it what they feel. I don’t like to guide the audience to think, I want them to think for themselves.


Have you won any awards?
Yes, I enter the Australian Professional Photographic Awards every year. In 2009 I received a gold award for on of my prints which aided in my receiving my masters.


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Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

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