Deborah Kelly: No Human Being Is Illegal (in all our glory)



Created for the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014), the work comprises 20 life-sized photographic portraits realised through ongoing discussion, exchange and art making between the artist, the subjects and public participants. The collaboration centres upon the nude photographic portraits of individuals who were intricately involved in the process. These raw and unornamented portraits developed over time as workshop participants added layers of archival and contemporary imagery specific to the subjects’ interests, attributes and vision, conveyed to the ensemble (through written, online or personal communications) by the portrait subjects themselves.

The portraits will continue to evolve throughout the tour as venues have the opportunity to undertake a series of on-site artist led workshops with their local communities. Through this ongoing process of collage and exchange, the portraits will draw from the personal and collective stories of each host community.

For the better part of the last three decades, Kelly has created a prolific body of mixed-media artworks that are at once unexpected, humorous, provocative, egalitarian, challenging and profound. Often politically motivated, her artworks explore ideas of discrimination in all its manifestations, highlighting racial, sexual and religious prejudices that exist in society today.

Previous visitors have commented: 

“Well worth a look and a ponder.”

“Absolutely fantastic. Thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition.”



Murray Art Museum Albury, NSW

2 October – 8 November 2015

Penrith Regional Gallery, NSW

5 December 2015 – 31 January 2016

Lismore Regional Gallery, NSW

6 February – 2 April 2016

Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, NSW

6 May – 19 June 2016

Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre, VIC

6 October – 29 October 2016

Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, VIC

2 December 2016 – 22 January 2017

Warwick Art Gallery, QLD

3 March – 23 April 2017

Artspace Mackay, QLD

26 May – 16 July 2017

Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW

29 July – 10 September 2017

Western Plains Cultural Centre, NSW

8 December 2017 – 4 March 2018

Bayside Arts and Culture Centre, VIC

10 March – 6 May 2018

Noosa Regional Gallery, QLD

19 July – 2 September 2018




A MAMA exhibition toured by Museums & Galleries of NSW. This project was created for the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014) with the assistance of the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. The Artist or Curator Residency program is supported by the Copyright Agency Limited’s Cultural Fund.