in conversation with Kellie O’Dempsey

we caught up, for a quick chat, with the brains behind this year’s visual art exhibition ‘what did you say?’, Kellie O’Dempsey.

What did you say? responds to this strange shifting social and environmental climate. Some mouths breathe with ease; others struggle to catch their breath; a silent few are deathly still.

Viewers are asked to both listen and engage in deep and conscious breathing, to be present in the moment, to connect, consider and breathe. 

Image credit: Thomas Oliver

Hey Kellie, what’s been happening?

At the moment, I have a large work up on Outer Face which is Outer Space’s digital projection public art program, on display every evening between on the façade of Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

 I am an interdisciplinary artist based on the Sunshine Coast.

What makes you happy?

The beach.

Image credit: Thomas Oliver

And what makes you happy creatively?

Exhibitions, film, music and hanging with creatives talking and making work.

Is there ever an end-point in your creative process — for example, the opening of an exhibition — or are you always searching for something new? 

Never- ending.

Who inspires you?

Laurie Andersen and William Kentridge.

What does a perfect day look like for you?

Drink sangria in the park
And then later, when it gets dark
We go home
…. Then later a movie, too
And then home

Lou Reed’s Perfect Day from the Transformer album 1972.

Image credit: Thomas Oliver

We can’t wait to see your project for the festival. In layman’s terms: what is it?

It is a multi-media work experienced outside on a tree using projection — sound by Mick Dick and AR (augmented reality) by Helena Papageorgiou — that invites you to lean in and listen in to nature. Driven by the collage, pop/dada imagery that may have had its birth when I first saw the original The Rocky Horror Picture Show movie.

What will you be checking out at the festival?

Sand, Steven Oliver, RISOFEST, Phototropism and The Sinkers.

Lastly, our the Horizon Spotify playlist has been torched in recent months. Can you give us an album to add to it?

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby — Fat boy Slim.

Find out more about what did you say? here

check out the full program here.