Performance Drawing

Moving Through by Kellie O'Dempsey

Photographer: Lois Lim • Performer: Marisa Georgiou

Photographer: Lois Lim • Performer: Marisa Georgiou


Moving Through
Performance at Flowstate • Brisbane, Australia
Saturday 27 October 7.30pm & Sunday 28 October 6.30pm 2018
Kellie O’Dempsey • Sound: Michael Dick • Performers: Saara Rappola & Marisa Georgiou
Produced by Metro Arts, South Bank Corporation 
and funded by Australia Council for the Arts

Moving Through is a spirited, site-generated image and sound performance that imagines the intermediate space between this life and the next.

Performance installation artist Kellie O’Dempsey draws on a personal tale that reveals importance of ritual when dealing with death.  Moving Through maps a guided journey of departure and brings the space to life using digital drawing and animated video projection with physical performers and sound.

Participate in a workshop where participants become creators in this multimedia exploration, or join in a discussion as O’Dempsey talks through her process of creating cinematic collage. Moving Through culminates in two stunning and visceral evening performances.

Links • Flowstate Event Page


Performance development, October 2018

Credit • Videographer and Photographer: Thomas Oliver


Dirt and Ash by Kellie O'Dempsey

Dirt and Ash (1 of 57).jpg

Dirt and Ash :: Fiona Fell and Kellie O'Dempsey
20 October - 2 December 2018 • Opening Night 19 October 2018
Gallery 1: The Margaret Olley Gallery, Lismore Regional Gallery • Lismore, Australia
Kellie O’Dempsey and Fiona Fell • Sound: Michael Dick

Kellie O’Dempsey and Fiona Fell perform Dirt & Ash, an immersive multimedia installation about the relationship between the artist and work of art. Michael Dick (sound artist) performing on opening night.

Exhibition was opened by Dr Barbara Bolt, Professor in Contemporary Arts and Culture, Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music.

Dirt and Ash displays a dynamic exchange between two mid-career artists. Fiona Fell and Kellie O'Dempsey explore the links between artists’ bodies, ceramic sculpture and performance drawing and video, inquiring into the nature of each other’s creative processes. As works are built, stacked, re-formed and incorporated through performance and live drawing the underbelly of their creative practices is exposed.  

Sharing the material relationships of clay and charcoal the shared experience of loss and survival is uncovered (in terms of life and their creative processes). Fiona Fell and Kellie O'Dempsey dramatise their perseverant search for presence, synchronising moments in the studio as performance.

Links • CatalogueLismore Gallery website

Exhibition Images


Performance Video

Exhibition Catalogue

Credit • Photographer: Darcy Grant • Videographer: Steven Kwan


Becoming Becoming by Kellie O'Dempsey

becoming becoming Kellie O'Dempsey

Becoming Becoming
13 April - 20 May 2018 • Exhibition Opening 6pm 13 April 2018
Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts • Townsville, Australia
Kellie O’Dempsey • Sound – Mick Dick • Dancers – Dance North Felix Samson and Samantha Hines

Becoming Becoming is a dynamic site generated installation that explores the links between the human body, making and transformation through improvisation. Both a live performance and as an exhibition, this work maps processes of collaboration and aliveness through live drawing and collaboration. With Sound artist Michael Dick, Dance North dancers Felix Sampson and Sam Hines the gallery space is expanded through live performance and digital projection. 

Attempting to entice all those who enter Becoming Becoming is a living collage Through the flow of line, sound, color and projection an immersive engaged environment evolved.


Credits • Photographer - Angela Little


away and towards by Kellie O'Dempsey

Photographer: Louis Lim

Photographer: Louis Lim


away and towards
Valley Metro Shopping Centre • Fortitude Valley, Brisbane - Australia
6 – 7.30pm, 5 October 2017
Kellie O’Dempsey • Sound: Michael Dick • Performers: Marisa Georgiou and Saara Rappola


away and towards is a collaborative exchange between Kellie O’Dempsey, Michael Dick, Marisa Georgiou and Saara Rappola.

This work is an evolving and fluid encounter and the culmination of a research enquiry into performance drawing as a hybrid and cooperative practice.

Using light, sound, movement and space, the notion of arriving in the present is explored.

Converging at the intersection of the live event and improvisational exchange, away and towards searches for a destination that is always here.


Photographers: Robyn Mill and Andy Willis • Videographer: Andy Willis


Resistance Movement by Kellie O'Dempsey


Resistance Movement
Kentler International Drawing Space · Brooklyn, New York
January 15 – February 19 2017
Performance + Opening Reception: Sunday, January 15, 4 – 7pm with sounds by guests
Artists’ Talk and final performance: Saturday, January 28, 4pm with musical guest M.A.N.I.A.C. Empire
Ben Gerstein: Trombone · Mike Pride: Percussion · Jonathan Moritz: Saxophone


Kellie O’Dempsey (AUS) and Jennifer Wroblewski (NJ) re-imagine the gallery as dance hall, a gathering area where pleasure through movement is the only goal, and where the democratic practice of social dance renders all who enter equal and allied.

Resistance Movement aims to enable a shared experience. Together, artists and audience will bare witness to an evolving work of light, surface and mark. Marks will be analog and digital, made on paper, and projected into the space. We will respond to music, sound, and one another. Performing a dialogue of drawing and sound, in an organized and considered improvisational environment, lines and form will move on, over and through opaque and transparent surfaces. The artists will move around and with the audience, in a drawn game of call and response. Drawing as a record of human movement.

What will remain will be a mapping of performance and cultural exchange. For those present in this Getsumkunstwork or whole artwork, they participate in an unfolding collaboration that is both experiential and inclusive.

Resistance Movement is a 2017 rejoinder to the 1970’s Discotheque, the Cabaret/Kabarret of France and Germany prior to WWII, the rave culture of the 1990s. Underground gathering in all of its forms. Dance as protest. The dance hall as a safe haven.

Drawing is the outcome of the friction of the mark-making element on the surface. Resistance and movement are the requirements of mark.

Resistence Movement Catalouge and Essay by Charlotta Kotik can be found here.


Photographer · Silvia Forni | Videographer: Gus Frias


LIGHTENING FIELD by Kellie O'Dempsey


Lightening Field
BARI (Brisbane Artist Run Initiative) Festival • Warehouse, Teneriffe, Brisbane, Australia
7pm - 10pm, Wednesday 19 October 2016




LIGHTENING FIELD brings together, for the first time, the diverse and fluctuating practices of performance drawer Kellie O’Dempsey, installation butoh artist Megan Janet White and sonic artist Luke Jaaniste in a new collaborative work.

The Laundry Artspace is proud to present the premiere performance of LIGHTENING FIELD as part of BARI Festival, within a disheveled warehouse space in Teneriffe, amongst the grime of disused floors, the grift of recent graffiti, and the darkness of night.

with essays by Marisa Georgiou and Aishla Manning + Naomi O’Reilly

Kellie O’Dempsey’s drawing practice is hybrid and diverse, incorporating projection, video, collage, architectural space, gestural line, site-specific installation and live art, through which she explores transformational processes through improvisation and happenstance. The performance drawing works invite the audience to engage directly with the visceral process of making. O’Dempsey’s public and private productions aims to enable an inclusive form of cultural interaction via performance and play.

Megan Janet White and Luke Jaaniste are the co-directors of Brisbane-based ensemble Theatre of Thunder. TOT intertwines butoh dance with immersive sound and atmospheric landscape. Raw and ambient sounds propel the body into a state of poetic rupture and transmutation, whilst illuminated smoke-bubble storms make palpable the fluid dynamic between the sound, body, architecture and audience.

This trio of Brisbane artists has half a century of practice between them, and have been featured in major festivals, exhibitions and workshops across Australia and overseas, including Asia Pacific Triennial QAGOMA, Museum of Contemporary Art, White Night Melbourne, MONA FOMO, Draw to Perform Symposium London, dLux, Art After Dark 18 Biennale of Sydney, Prague Quadrennial of Performance and Design, Perspectives on Hijikata Research Collective Japan and hosting international butoh master Kan Katsura. We look forward to experiencing the results of their hothouse fusion.


Photographers • Aishla Manning • Naomi O'Reilly


NRC Silver Jubilee Projections by Kellie O'Dempsey


Silver Jubilee - NRCM, Lismore
NRC Silver Jubilee Event • Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Music, Lismore NSW, Commissioned by the Lismore Regional Gallery
15 October 2016


A creative development & presentation program celebrating the Northern Rivers Conservatorium Silver Jubilee and the stories connected to its historic building.

NRC alumni & teachers, local musicians and community with guest conductor Richard Gill and visual artist Kellie O’Dempsey (presented by Lismore Regional Gallery) exhibited a major multi-artform performance in the grounds of the Northern Rivers Conservatorium 13 – 15 October 2016. The building which houses the Northern Rivers Conservatorium has been in educational use for over 100 years and has great significance to generations of Lismore families.

NRC Silver Jubilee partnered with RealArtWorks “The Building(s) Still Lives” to present THE HOMECOMING, providing an opportunity for the whole community to participate in a free multi-artform event that is about their stories.

Photography by Natsky


Photographer · Natsky


Just Draw – Bathurst by Kellie O'Dempsey


Just Draw | Group Exhibition
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
19 August – 2 October 2016
Opening night performance 19 August
Curators: Todd Fuller and Lisa Woolfe

Just Draw celebrates drawing and its many possibilities; performance, multimedia, installation, sculpture, kinetics and robotics. Exhibition curators Todd Fuller and Lisa Woolfe present Australian artists who leverage the possibilities of this deceptively simple medium.

Artists include Connie Anthes, Flatline, Hannah Bertram, John Bokor, Matilda Michell, Kelly O’Dempsey, Catherine O’Donnell, Hannah Quinlivan, Jeremy Smith, Jack Stahel, Grant Stewart, Jane Théau and Paul White.

Opening night performance: 


Photographer · Todd Fuller


unSeen (confined space) by Kellie O'Dempsey


unSeen (confined space)
Metro Arts, Professional Development Residency, Brisbane
21 – 27 March 2016
Artists: Sarah Houbolt, Kellie O’Dempsey and Michael Dick

unSeen (confined space) is a project in development filmed at Metro Arts, Brisbane. unSeen is a sensory game of call and response exploring perception and the disparate. Using drawn lines, body gestures, digital projection and sound design, this live getsumkuntswerk or total artwork starts a feedback loop that informs an unwritten script as the artists unite with each other without verbal communication. Together they interrogate the public and the private, and what is seen and unseen within a small space.


Photograoher and videographer • Fiarrah Poole 


TAPE on by Kellie O'Dempsey


TAPE on: a temporal collision of line

Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane
24 February 2016

Artists: Vanghoua Anthony Vue and Kellie O’Dempsey


Interactive performance with the possibility of play.

In collaboration with Vanghoua Anthony Vue, an interactive performance work that integrates the gestural and geometric. Informed by traditional drawing methods, O’Dempsey’s performance drawings respond to movement, and the body in the immediate environment. Vue draws on popular culture, street art, the everyday, DIY ethic, and brings aspects of his Hmong heritage into a contemporary art context. Together these two artists will collide in a conversation of line.


Photographer and videographer • Vanghoua Anthony Vue


A line in the night by Kellie O'Dempsey


A line in the night Opening exhibition performance for Just Draw – Newcastle exhibition
Newcastle Art Gallery
Exhibition 6 February – 1 May 2016
Opening event 6 February

Featuring the live drawing performance A line in the night, from 8.00pm, Newcastle Art Gallery will become the canvas for artist Kellie O’Dempsey and musician Mick Dick to collaborate and respond to sound and the immediate environment. In a live performance O’Dempsey will use light and colour to create a new digital drawing work.

Just Draw celebrates drawing and its many possibilities, performance, multimedia, installation, sculpture, kinetics and robotics. This exhibition present Australian artists who leverage the possibilities of this deceptively simple medium.

Australian drawing is alive with dynamic interrogations of its own parameters. It is an enduring medium with a fierce versatility, a medium of democracy, easily accessible in materials and actions.

Drawing offers a conceptual wonderland allowing the practitioner to meander through a broad spectrum of ideas and concepts. From artists whose work could be described as a contemporary take on a classical methodology, to those who nudge the definition of ‘drawing’ beyond the realm of ‘marks on paper’. This survey considers artists works which are so much more than just drawing.

Guest curators: Todd Fuller and Lisa Woolfe

Exhibiting Artists: Connie Anthes, Hannah Bertram, John Bokor, Flatline, Todd Fuller, Matilda Michell, Kellie O’Dempsey, Catherine O’Donnell, Hannah Quinlivan, Jack Stahel, Grant Stewart, Jeremy Smith, Jane Theau, Paul White, Lisa Woolfe

With thanks to the support of project partners:
Newcastle Art Gallery, Bathurst Regional Gallery, Faculty and Students of The University of Newcastle School of Creative Arts, Watt Space Gallery, The Backyard Bus Artist Residency, Newcastle Now, Newcastle Council, NAVA National Association of the Visual Arts The Australian Artists’ Grant is a NAVA initiative, made possible through the generous sponsorship of Mrs Janet Holmes à Court and the support of the Visual Arts Board, Australia Council for the Arts.


Photographer · Anna Hill


Before I leave (silent) by Kellie O'Dempsey


Before I Leave (silent)

POP (Post Graduate and other projects) Gallery, Woolloongabba, Brisbane
16 January 2016

A drawing conversation by Piyali Ghosh (India) and Kellie O’Dempsey (Australia)
Sound by Michael Dick (Australia)

An improvised drawing performance for one night only.

Presented by Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research & Woollongabba Art Gallery


Photographer and Videographer •  Emma Wright


Bomb the Wall by Kellie O'Dempsey


Bomb the Wall
Queensland College of Art
Friday, October 2, 2015


Visual artist Todd and dancer and choreographer Carl Scibberas in collaboration with Kellie O’Dempsey Bomb the Wall of the Griffith Galleries for the closing of Drawing International Brisbane 2015


Photographer •  Lisa Kurtz


Under Arena - Drawing International Brisbane by Kellie O'Dempsey


Under Arena
Exhibition at Spring Hills Reservoir as a part of the Drawing International Brisbane (DIB) Symposium 2015: Ego Artefact, Arena
Spring Hill Reservoirs, Brisbane
30 September, 2015

Artists: Kellie O’Dempsey | Bill Platz | Zoe Porter | Flatline (Todd Fuller And Carl Sciberras) | Velvet Persu

A group of artists engage with performance and drawing to respond to a unique Brisbane landmark. The subterranean Spring Hill Reservoirs and the Old Windmill present a theatrical environment in which live drawing, sound, video and dance coalesce.

Kellie O'Dempsey and Michael Dick, installation view of  Under Arena  2015. Photographer Matthew Loyd

Kellie O'Dempsey and Michael Dick, installation view of Under Arena 2015. Photographer Matthew Loyd

Kellie O’Dempsey: Artist + Curator of the performance art event Under Arena. Opening the Drawing International Brisbane Symposium 2015, Under Arena was an initiative of the Griffith Centre For Creative Arts Research.

Auspiced by Griffith University, Queensland College of Art through the assistance of The National Trust and Brisbane City Council, Under Arena was representative of the artistic interdisciplinary dialects involved in the creation of a lexicon of contemporary performative practise. Michael Dick: Sound artist working in direct response to the action of Kellie O’Dempsey. Michael provides the synaesthetic vehicle from which the art work resonates toward a palpable liminality. You may also notice throughout the soundscape the vocals of performance artist Velvet Pesu.

Taking place on the 30 September 2015 at the historic Spring Hill Reservoir, this conveyance is a subjectively inflected inference of the artistic intent of Kellie O'Dempsey and Michael Dick.

Exhibition images – installation view:


Documentation • Emma Wright, Simon Marsh, Matthew Loyd


uNatural by Kellie O'Dempsey


Art Forum, Visiting Artist, Drawing and Print Media Department, School of Art
Print Media and seminar room, Australian National University, Canberra
26 March 2015

Kellie O’Dempsey + Jaanika Peerna (Estonia/NY)

Collaborative drawing performance at Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 2015

Jaanica Peerna: movement drawings by hand

Kellie O’Dempsey: drawing and digital via projections (light drawings) that would draw on existing spaces between the works, connecting them in response to Jaanica’s performance.

Collaborating through performance drawing Jaanica Peerna (Estonia/NY) and Kellie O’Dempsey (Australia) exchanging directives like weather patterns; lines build and change embodying a shared experience. This international collaboration connects directly in the expanding fields of live drawing. Jaanica describes her force as connected to nature, the natural phenomena of the self. Where Kellie work is site-generated, responding directly to Jaanica’s performance and the space via the ephemeral light drawings that build, move a disappear.


Photographers •  Kellie O’Dempsey and Jaanika Peerna


Draw to Perform 2 – London by Kellie O'Dempsey


Draw to Perform 2
Number 3 Performance space • Deptford, London, UK
16 – 17 March 2015

Artists: Gerald Royston Curtis (UK), dolanbay (Berlin), Poppy Jackson (UK), Ram Samocha (Israel/ UK), Yara Pina (Brazil), Jordan Mckenzie (UK), Bettina Fung (Hong Kong/UK), Kevin Townsend (USA), Kellie O’Dempsey (Australia), Bertrand Flachot (France), Jennifer Wroblewski (USA), Holly Matthews (UK), Shoshanah Ciechanowski (Israel), John Court (UK/Finland), River Lin (Taiwan), Gosia Wlodarczak (Poland/Australia), Rachel Grant (Scotland/UK).


Draw to Perform 2 was a collective live drawing installation event in London, independently curated by artist Ram Samocha. International artists presented works using conventional drawing tools—pencils, charcoal, and markers—and unconventional digital prints, experimental mark making methods, and labouring tools, including Polyfilla and plumber’s twine. The nature of these materials determined how the artist acted, moved, and performed in the space. Concurrently performing drawings for six continuous hours, the twelve artists (including me) used diverse strategies in accordance with their own practice, working within self-determined parameters in separate areas of a warehouse.

The space was open to the public as a live durational time-based performance. The audience could wander through or participate in (some) works according to their desire and interest. As witnesses, the audience activated the space, which made them participants in the event. The space or site of a performance drawing can inform the work. The Draw to Perform 2 venue was a warehouse in South London. It was a coId, hard, dark concrete building in an inner-city industrial area. The location can also invariably affect and establish how the performance drawing is read.

My own performance drawings at the event were a direct response to the space and those who occupied it during the six hours. The installation or configuration of my setup was designed according to the architectural features of the corner I inhabited. Using materials gathered from the local hardware and art shop, digital projections, and black tape, the images traversed two walls and the floor. I drew both the moving gestures of the audience and the other artists I could see from my space, constantly swapping materials from traditional means to live digital drawing and animation in an attempt to respond to the mechanics of the environment. I drew River Lin as he moved through his floured surface; I drew the viewers who passed by and those who stayed; I attempted to draw the ever changing now. As people moved, the drawing was altered, producing an evolving  observational tableau.

Draw to Perform 2 website

Other artists performances


Photographer · Marco Berardi


Draw/Delay – White Night Festival Melbourne by Kellie O'Dempsey


Draw/Delay • White Night Festival Melbourne 2015
Caledonian Lane, Melbourne CBD
7pm to 7am, February 2015

Artists: Kellie O’Dempsey and Michael Dick

Draw/delay is a performance drawing and sound installation which reveals the workings of art-making as both a public and private event. Through live drawing and seductive audio manipulation, the romantic notion or myth of the artist in the studio is exposed.

An improvised collaboration with musician Mick Dick, artist Kellie O’Dempsey responds directly to sound and the immediate environment with live performance, marks on paper and digital drawing. Along with video and audio installation, the audience are invited to engage directly with the visceral process of creating. O’Dempsey investigates the uncanny, aiming to enable a playful and inclusive form of interaction.

White Night Festival event website



White Night Melbourne 2015: Up all night for dusk till dawn party
February 22, 2015
Cameron Woodhead

Almost every alleyway held a niche event – some trash, some treasure. The best of them was Kelly O’Dempsey and Mick Dick’s Draw/Delay – a beautiful fusion of live drawing, digital art and music that exposed the creative process to a public, and participatory, gaze.

Read more... 


White Night Melbourne 2015: The best of an all-night spectacle
Debbie Cuthbertson
February 21, 2015

A small scale highlight of
the night came from a live art and music collaboration between digital sound man Mick Dick and painter Kellie Dempsey. Taking place on Caledonian Lane with milk crates for seats, the show was aimed at exposing the process of making art. Dempsey delivered in spades using both a projected e-tablet along along with angular and deft brushstrokes on the canvas. Dick’s soundtrack was suitably mesmerising.



Experiencing Draw/delay at Caledonian Lane  
Katherine Lim

RED AND BLACK ARCHITECT (online magazine)

Draw/Delay saw traditional drawing artwork collide with multimedia to create a performance piece. This event explored the artistic methods of drawing as a performance piece. The collaboration between artist Kellie O’Dempsey and musician Mick Dick, was an action collage with sketches on paper projected on to a wall merged with simultaneous paint brushed directly upon the ‘canvas’, all set to a moody soundtrack. The live nature of this event showcased the creative process of the artist rather than just the ‘finished product’ making it an ideal inclusion in the White Night programme.


Photographers · Georgina Tait


Corner Dance Lab by Kellie O'Dempsey


The Corner Dance Lab
24 January 2015
Jasper Corner Federal, NSW

A week-long collaboration between Philip Channells (Dance Integrated Australia) and Gavin Webber (The Farm). It is a consolidated week of working with 10 renowned teachers sharing daily routines, practice, ideas and experiments with emerging and established dancers and choreographers.

In collaboration with Visual Artist Musician Ben Ely and Kellie O’Dempsey.

Classes will led by Phil Blackman, Philip Channells, Hsin-Ju Chiu (Raw), Kate Harman, Lee-Anne Litton, Grayson Millwood, Kimberly McIntyre, Timothy Ohl, Laurie Young and Gavin Webber.


Photographer •  Veda Dante


JADA Performance by Kellie O'Dempsey


JADA (Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award) Drawing Symposium

Grafton Regional Gallery • NSW
Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 October 2014

Artists: Todd Fuller, Kellie O’Dempsey and Mick Dick


Drawing takes new forms in the digital age. Brisbane based Kellie O’Demspey and Sydney based Todd Fuller unite for a live drawing performance. Merging digital drawing through the tag-tool application, with traditional drawing and animation; the pair generate a multi-layered 4 dimensional ephemeral artwork.

Sound by Michael Dick.

Photographer · Todd Fuller


Dis/close by Kellie O'Dempsey


Kellie O’Dempsey
2014, Digital video, 4:23 minutes (performance photographs)

This work aims to discuss the relationship between the individual and the constant manipulation of facts by the media and governing political powers, which appear to conceal l and blindfold the populace. In silence, through a game of reveal and conceal, the environment and the appearance of an individual is transformed through digital drawing exposing the head of a man in disquiet and contemplation. The hand drawn, pixelated lines consistently uncover, redefine and blur what is actually available to us. Through the process of drawing as enquiry I identify and investigate the interconnected experience of human engagement. Using the Tagtool (live digital drawing and animation device) I aim to translate those elements into a drawn video work that allows an authentic process of collaboration and improvisation. The outcome, a strange, poetic intervention of the digital drawing that uncovers, confuses and transforms an isolated man.

Describing her work as a Performance Drawing practice, O’Dempsey aims to enable an inclusive form of cultural interaction via interdisciplinary performance and play. Hybrid in form, O’Dempsey’s practice incorporates projection, video, collage, architecture, gestural line and digital drawing. Investigating notions of transformation and the uncanny, she collaborates with performers combining hand drawn marks with digital projection and live animation. Experimental and emergent, O’Dempsey invites the audience to engage directly with the visceral process of making.


Photographer and Videographer • Kris Garner