Nora Kelly | ENTANGLED

Winner of the 2022 Vallum Cover Award

“Entangled” is a series of paintings dealing with the emotional and psychic landscapes brought about by the pandemic. In the artist’s own words:

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the world quickly transitioned from “normal” to the unfamiliar: new rules, new information and new ways to live our lives. One of the most striking changes was the heightened importance of our interior spaces. The home was a refuge to return to after living “out in the world.” Now, for many, it has become where all work, socializing, relaxing, and reflection are done. In my city of Montreal, where lockdowns and curfews became a regular occurrence, this was my reality. We have experienced our relationships with the people we live with become more concentrated, in good as well as difficult ways. We’ve become much more important, and complicated, to one another.

What is the line between closeness and claustrophobia? Between deepening relationships and scraping against the shallowness that was hidden? With this series of oil paintings, I attempt to convey the tangled feelings that come with extreme closeness, positive and negative. We’ve all crossed the bridge into a new COVID reality, and we’ve all had to create new bridges with those closest to us.



About the Artist

While studying fine art and urban planning at Concordia University, Nora Kelly spent a year in Mexico City, working for the “Street Art Chilango” mural company and refining her painting techniques. On her return to Montreal, she continued to paint custom murals for small businesses and individuals, always with a desire to keep her services affordable and accessible to all. When the pandemic hit, rooted in her bedroom, Kelly turned to editorial illustration and painting commissions. She lives with two roommates, a dog named Squid, and plays in the punk band DISHPIT.