Kelly McDonald completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts in the late 90s. Following a career in the art department for children’s television at Disney Australia, she moved to New Zealand to work in the Wellington film industry, re-connecting with jewellery at the same time.
Kelly's work nestles within the domestic setting and explores notions of home and place alongside the history of these spaces. Using materials taken from traditionally masculine and utilitarian spheres, she uses specific arrangements of objects as a visual language, where the relationship between functional objects and the spaces around them spur reflections on use, value and meaning, to speak to the connections between people and things.
Alongside her own exhibition practice, Kelly has taught jewellery at Whitireia since 2006. Recent exhibitions include her solo show TOOL LOOT & the Mother Lode (2018, The National, Christchurch), and inclusion in Schmuck (2017, Munich).
McDonald also has a very active presence in the jewellery community, with long involvement as a participant in the HANDSHAKE mentoring project, as a member of the collective Occupation: Artist, the window gallery group The See Here, and she is currently working through her Masters of Fine Arts at Massey University.