Performance Drawing

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


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


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


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


Responsive Performance - Hawksbury Regional Gallery by Kellie O'Dempsey


Responsive Performance for 'A General Map of Caves' - Hawksbury Regional Gallery
13 June 2014
Hawksbury Regional Gallery

Live site-specific performance of drawing, dance, sound & projection by Kellie O'Dempsey and Tanya Voges in response to the current exhibition at Hawksbury Regional Gallery, 'A General Map of Caves'.


Photographers and Videographers •  Kellie O'Dempsey and Tanya Voges


Vestige Collective by Kellie O'Dempsey


Vestige Collective
Wonkytooth dub @ Station Street Studios
June 2014

Kellie O’Demspey in collaboration with choreographer and dancer Tanya Voges together investigate new forms in Hybrid art production via dance, live performance and drawing.

This collaboration has had the Choreographic Research Residency, Tasters / Testers  with Critical Path (Choreographic Research Centre Sydney).

Together developing performance and choreographic strategies Choreographer Tanya Voges and Visual artist Kellie O’Dempsey were in mentorship with New Media Expert Mic Gruchy, Dramaturg Martyn Coutts and Cognitive Psychologist Dr Kate Stevens. The production team also included the work of film maker Tim Standing, Technical designer Paul Osbourne, Sound artist Michael Dick and photographer Maylei Hunt.

Vestige Collective is the collaborative vehicle through which innovative applications in digital manipulation and audience participation are utilised to create an inclusive and interconnected form of cultural interaction that is available to a broad cross section of the community to generate narratives that are unique to location. These stories are responded to through dance, new media projection, live feed video and sound. A montage of shared experiences becomes transformed into a mesmerising theatrical encounter.

The unique way that Vestige Collective combines the analogue (drawing and dance) and digital (projections and audience sourced data) the vision for this project can be realised to create an emergent multi-faceted performance that fuses physical and virtual performance modalities. In developing this cross-disciplinary work designed for broad cultural audiences and diverse spaces, Vestige Collective will generate an inclusive form of cultural experience.


Photographer •  Maylei Hunt
Videographer • Tim Standing


Paper Jam Roll by Kellie O'Dempsey


Paper Jam Roll (3 parts)
June 2011
Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts • Brisbane, Australia
Artists - Kellie O'Dempsey and Mick Dick, Azo Bell and Peter Dehlsen

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Put 20 meters of paper, an artist who draws like a maniac, a double bassist, guitarist and drummer with inks, pastels, brushes, electronic drawing projections, a time limit, put it all together in one room and you've got a Paper jam roll.

Live performance drawing artist Kellie O'Dempsey and the improvisational groove of musician Mick Dick (The Knie), Azo Bell and Peter Dehlsen together are inspired by the direct encounter with the audience (you), the site (the Valley) and the experience (the happening).

They invite the audience to be part of in the evolution of a visual and aural installation performance art work by merely being present. Come join the transforming liminal space,

"you come as a spectator and maybe you discover you are caught in it after all..."
- The blurring of art and life. Kaprow p15

Nancy Pellegrini, the Classical and Performance Editor of Time Out Beijing/Time Out Shanghai was present during Kellie's performance in Shanghai 2010, she said:

“Having visual art and performing arts going on at the same time was thrilling, and left me with an incredible feeling of completeness, as if the furthest reaches of my brain were being touched all at once.

Kellie's work was never distracting or obtrusive; she was an equal partner to the musicians, turning out work of equal value. The work itself so captured the emotions of the afternoon, and the feeling of mental fullness I so enjoy but so rarely find.”

Paper Jam Roll - Part 1
June 4 2011
Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts • Brisbane

Paper Jam Roll - Part 2
June 2011
Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts • Brisbane

Paper Jam Roll - Part 3
June 4 2011
Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts • Brisbane


Photographer + Videographer •  Cal MacKinnon