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The Art of Listening Perspective

Elisabeth Kelvin

Art in the Age of Isolation By

Elisabeth Kelvin

Light, shadows, sounds, silence, you embrace the warmth, the brightness, the woods and flowers of the natural environment and the dark, brooding chaos that evokes self-knowledge. You are longing for the colors of freedom, the sound of solitude, the new, although you are aware that your loved ones keep you rooted in the old. You move on, perceive a radiance, walk towards it and sing! It nourishes you:

The inner urge to connect, to submerge, to surge, to purge, to emerge, to be creative, to be dignified.

The Art of Isolation by Elisabeth Kelvin ink on paper 29x21cm © 2020 Elisabeth Kelvin

In creative freedom, sound, movement and visual art are balanced in a common direction to immerse us in a fine dialogue of curious thoughts. Changing shapes between styles and movements, as if changing accents or hats. Every whisper echos. Every gesture reveals.



The longing?

To tell our story.

For me, a tiny movement or pressure, a subtle choice of color and questions of proportion and perspective are presented to achieve a goal. These captivating components are not only physical. To live these decisions I need a robust mental endurance, concentration, thinking! 

Art in the Age of Isolation presents a combination of a digital format and a physical performance/exhibition.

As well as regarding non-traditionally scored and improvised music and contemporary art works as having numerous meaningful correspondences with text, visual non-representational and abstract artwork, and movement, Art in the Age of Isolation responds to our current circumstances in a wider philosophical way. As a reaction to the complicated perceived vested interests of corporate government – for example, widespread global inaction on human rights, gender discrimination, and catastrophes related to COVID19 – many people feel powerless, marginalized, and invisible. An artistic approach proposes a modest and workable alternative to give one a sense that yes, we can do something to make an impact by unpretentiously engaging with our world. Ask direct questions. Listen to our surroundings. We matter.

Harmolodic Glimpse in Greys by Elisabeth Kelvin oil on canvas 30x30cm © Elisabeth Kelvin 2020

The key to Art in the Age of Isolation is not only the way the creative person responds closely to her medium in an isolated environment, but that the sensitivity of her actions eventually radiates to the virtual and physical audience. Rather than being passive listeners, they are encouraged to be directly involved as a vital part of a community, unfolding little by little and observable in realtime through participation in the blog framework. A robust network of compassionately inquisitive people are at times involved. Being nominated as a contender for the IG Kultur prize for the independent scene of Vienna 2020 is a launch into a wider cultural space, in which the project and the audience may safely dock.

This approach to sound and visual exploration flourishes in an intimate, isolated, and quiet space. It is ideally suited to the current support that online organization can offer because the results need to be shared. A broad spectrum of listeners are allowed to register the quietest sounds, most delicate sights, and subtle gestures, as well as witness the very process of art unfolding through access to this blog. An unvoiced gesture, a breath, or the scrape of a stylus against paper become as much a part of the artwork as the final manifestation. Rather than entertainment that depends upon a wide variety of props and complicated staging, Art in the Age of Isolation counters life’s complexities by offering a simple glimmer of hope that together we may find a quiet space residing within to share our glowing grace to be creative.

The currently running project components are:

Composition, Improvisation, Performance, Art, Text, and Video.

Art in the Age of Isolation – Collect Baubles ink, pencil, watercolor on paper © Elisabeth Kelvin 2020


Maintaining a diverse practice in music performance and visual arts Elisabeth Kelvin energetically and enthusiastically paints what she hears and plays what she sees. Her journey is wholly interdisciplinary as she creates multiple artistic paths as a clarinet and saxophone teacher, performer, composer, and visual artist.

Elisabeth Kelvin’s creative practice blends the visual with the aural. Growing up with a large family of musicians and artists, interest in the correspondences between disciplines seemed natural and she was first in class in both music and art at his school. Elisabeth received a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and her Masters then her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Michigan State University. Early experiences as an orchestral musician beginning as a student in the Sydney Youth Orchestra leading to professional engagements with the numerous orchestras and ensembles including Willoughby Symphony, Mosman Musical Society,  Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and Lansing Symphony Orchestra, alerted Elisabeth to the importance of precise communication and potential of the collective in music-making. Her extensive chamber music experience from classical standards by Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms through to twentieth-century composers including Stravinsky, Messiaen, Sculthorpe, and Boulez, awakened in her a sense of exquisite balance and refinement that has carried on into her contemporary performances. As a lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts, the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, and later in the Tamworth Conservatorium of Music in regional Australia and working with contemporary Indigenous artists, she was introduced to the role and meaning of place in social connectivity, improvisation, symbolic and abstract art, and movement in live performance.

Art in the Age of Isolation – Layered Response by Elisabeth Kelvin ink on tracing paper over watercolor on paper 29x42cm ©2020 Elisabeth Kelvin

Elisabeth performs professionally in the USA, Europe, and Australia, presenting her own compositions, collaborations, and jazz greats.  Her musical practice centers around contemporary music on woodwind instruments, primarily clarinet, bass clarinet, and saxophone, as well as composition and improvisation. Creative activities have led her to numerous conferences, masterclasses, workshops and retreats in Australia, USA, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, France, Italy Germany, and Austria.

Recently, she was invited to perform in St Ruprecht’s New Music Series, Währinger Improv Festival (Vienna), Frühlingsfest at Galerie Alma Kulturcafe (Vienna), V:NM Festival Graz/Vol.12 (Graz), COOK, EAT and CLEAN/Smoke and Mirrors Saloon Festival, Viennese premiere of Breathcore in collaboration with the Belgium-based new music ensemble Ictus at Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), and ISOS Spirals Concert Series (Amsterdam), Hear me Roar Women’s Festival (Vienna), Grotto Futura (Vienna), and Lärm Music Festival (Vienna)

 In 2019 – 2020 Elisabeth took part in collaborative social media projects with the international arts organization REACT (Melbourne), Raw Matters (Vienna), MAF (Cork), Valek (Vienna), and Kunstbetrieb (Vienna).

Elisabeth launched her professional visual arts practice in 2000, and since then has staged solo exhibitions and participated in collaborative shows in Australia, USA, and Austria. She became an active member of the One+2 Artist Gallery and Studios, Sydney in 2009. Her visual art work, abstractions of body movement and music, encompasses a range of media including oil, watercolor, pastel, ink and mixed media. She regularly exhibits at various Viennese galleries and festivals. Career highlights include a well-received solo exhibition, Harbour City Tones and Colours, at Salerno Gallery (Sydney), and a series of solo and group shows in Contemplor Galerie (Vienna), Reinlgalerie (Vienna), and Historisches Volksmuseum Konstante Art Fair (Vienna). Of special note is that her visual arts exhibitions include related performance elements.

Art in the Age of Isolation – Considering Outcomes by Elisabeth Kelvin charcoal on paper 50x40cm © 2021 Elisabeth Kelvin

By being now based in the city of her grandparents, she is rediscovering her own cultural heritage. Having taken piano lessons from her great-grandmother and professional pianist, makes Elisabeth “a pupil, of a pupil, of a pupil, of a pupil of Beethoven.” From upper-story Vienna windows, she imagines she hears long-forgotten snippets of song and conversation or dampened piano chords still crisscrossing the streets and years. Elisabeth currently teaches music, art, and dance to children of all ages and – along with being a founding member of both The Music Movement Project and Gentle Enquiry – performs throughout Europe as a soloist and with Ozmosis, Vienna Improvisors Orchestra, Free Form-Just Music, Stolen Moments, and Trio Amacord+.

During the SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as COVID-19)  pandemic, Elisabeth initiated the Monday Night C19 Improv Sessions and Art in the Age of Isolation, both online multimedia improvisation projects that explore ideas on new ways to prepare multidisciplinary performances.

Website: https://elisabethkelvin.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lismusart/