Kelly Leonard

Kelly Leonard, Desert Transistor (2021). Handwoven Bell wire and quartz (video documentation).


In the time of the Corona Virus, the weaver sat at the loom weaving recycled Bell Wire. It was used to set the explosives deep underground in that place where she lived. When she had woven a number of the ribbons she walked out deep into the desert picking up pebbles of quartz, inserting them into the pockets formed by the structure of the weaving. Eagles flew overhead. Laying the ribbons out in a pattern she connected her headphones to listen. The signals started coming in, fast pulses of energy, a broadcast to future past. Something shifted underground, the quake moved seams and so it began.

Kelly Leonard, Transistors (2021). Handwoven Bell wire and quartz – augmented reality App (video documentation).

Kelly Leonard is a Broken Hill NSW based artist living on Wilyakali Land of the Barkindji Nation. As a teenager, she was taught hand-loom weaving by a second-generation Bauhaus weaver, Marcella Hempel, in Wagga Wagga, Wiradjuri Land NSW. Her current practice and research is centred around bridging hand-woven (floor loom-based) textiles with conductive technologies to produce sound works. The textiles use recycled copper wire from the mining industry as a conductive yarn, to act as a receiver for the inherent energies transmitted from the environment. In particular, she is exploring the potential interaction between space, time, objects and experiences. She uses fieldwork as a primary methodology to interact with the environment and to record sounds, installations and performances for human and more-than-human audiences.

Kelly Leonard Bell Wire weave (2021) Handwoven Bell wire 15cm x 10 m Photo Kelly Leonard