The Black Art Depot

Shan Kelly Art Gallery

Shan Kelly Art Gallery

Born on the Caribbean island of Nassau, Bahamas, Kelly grew up sketching charcoal and pencil portraits. She admits to having had to overcome a fear of colors, being humbled and awe-struck by the abundance of colors in everything around her. Her first tools were popsicle sticks and match sticks for applying paint and she used the white card in pantyhose packages as paper. Later, when she got her first brush, she discovered the joy of watercolor painting.

Kelly’s work is magic, poetry, fantasy and realism. Her watercolors, unique in their translucent layering of color, are marvelously complex and detailed creations that evoke the wonder, myths, rituals and everyday struggles of her native Caribbean island. The presence of women - iron strong Caribbean women - predominate in her work. For her they represent the power of the matriarchy in cultures like hers and she attempts to portray strength as beauty and create imagery that give voice to their perception of the world and its imaginative truth. The artist maintains vibrancy, introspection and a deep feeling of spirituality in her work.