Museo del Merletto

Lace Museum


Déirdre Kelly



Déirdre Kelly plays with the language of cartography to create her own personalised maps, operating a kind of in-built personal GPS system, from which emerge impossible landscapes, routes and directions, oscillating between land and water as observed from her studio view in Venice looking out towards Canal Grande.

Born in London 1962, and obtained Master of Arts in Printmaking from Wimbledon School of Art in 1984 at which time she was voted member of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers. Since 1985 she has been exhibiting work regularly in UK, France & Italy. Her artwork is held in many public and private collections including the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Luciano Benetton Collection, Italy, Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ireland, Museu da Gravura, Curitiba, Brazil, National Gallery of Canada Library, Canada, University of Leeds Library, U.K., M.O.M.A. Library, New York, N.I.V.A.L, Dublin, Ireland, and Tate Gallery Library, London. Her latest project TRACERY, Venice and the Lakes Interlaced was on exhibition from April-August 2023 at Brantwood, John Ruskin’s home in the Lake District, England.

Kelly was founding director and curator of the Hardware Gallery, London (1986-2003) a place for specialist exhibitions in printmaking and artists’ books. Hardware was at the centre of the artists’ book revival of the late 1980s and 1990s; now the artists’ books collection is in the British Library and documentation on Hardware Gallery activities is part of Tate Archive at the Tate Gallery, London Awards include a British Council Exchange residency at Museu da Gravura, Curitiba, Brazil 1994, the Whatman Paper Prize 1988, the Atlantis Paper Prize 1987, and the Sericol Purchase Prize 1986. In 2012 she was awarded a fellowship at Ballinglen Arts Foundation in the west of Ireland and subsequent fellowships in 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2023. In 2021 she became a Companion of John Ruskin’s Guild of St George. Currently lives and works in Venice, Italy.