Kellie Orr highlights young Perth creatives in Higher Ground exhibition


Kellie Orr. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Kellie Orr. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

THE theme of artist Kellie Orr’s first solo exhibition has relevance to her recent career change.

Opening at Beyond Art Gallery in North Perth this Friday, Higher Ground features 12 contemporary portraits of young Perth creatives who have each taken a risk to pursue their dream of a creative career.

Orr took her own leap of faith in March when she quit her government job to practise art full-time at her studio.

The 27-year-old graduated from Curtin University in 2009 with a design degree but said she soon became sidetracked earning money rather than following her true passion.

“My job was great and everything was good but then I kept dreaming about art all the time,” Orr said.

“My lunchbreaks were spent on Instagram looking at other artist’s works and then I’d get home and paint in the evenings and on Sundays.

“But there’s just not enough time after a full working week; I felt like now was the best time to jump in and focus on my art.”

Orr’s exhibition includes portraits of theatre director Adam Mitchell, gourmet meal-kit company This Little Pig Went to Market owners Katherine Roberts and Jessica Kerr, photographer Matsu, actor and director Matt Lovkis and artist Rachelle Dusting.

“They’re all people who I find inspiring and interesting; they all have interesting stories,” Orr said.

“I’ve sat down with each person and taken photographs of them but also chatted for a few hours to get to know what they’re like.

“Every portrait reflects an element of that person’s experience in their career which is something I’ve either understood or connected with as well.

“It’s not often that you get to meet someone and then sit down with them for three hours and grill them about their life.

“I’ve learnt heaps about how other people handle their careers and how they make them work.”

Orr said she chose to exhibit at Beyond Art Gallery for its unconventional space; it is a skate park, grungy and representative of youth.

Higher Ground opens 6-8pm on Friday, August 5, with viewing by appointment until September 4.

Bookings at www.facebook.com/kellie.orr.art.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Higher Ground

Where: 345 Charles Street, North Perth

When: August 5, by appointment to September 4