About us

Els Borghart and Declan Kelly work as an independent artistic and curatorial duo since 2009 in a local, national and international context while based in Drogheda, Ireland. We initiate, develop and collaborate on contemporary projects, either independently or in association with other creatives. Our starting point is always to advocate visual arts we believe to be critically relevant to our times while looking at each project from both a curatorial and an artist point of view.

Els Borghart – Visual artist with a Masters in Fine Arts (LUCA School of Arts – Ghent, Belgium) and a post-Masters in Cultural Policy & Art Management (University Antwerp Management School – Antwerp, Belgium).

Declan Kelly – Visual artist with an Honours Degree in Art (Institute of Technology – Sligo and HETAC – Ireland) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education for Art & Design (National College of Art and Design – Dublin, Ireland)

History

ELS + DECLAN was formerly known as NeXus Arts. Els Borghart and Declan Kelly co-founded NeXus Arts and operated under this name from 2009 until 2019. During the period of 2009 – 2014 the projects were co-curated with:

Lindsey Ilona Brady (2009-2010)
Jessica Bridgeman (2009 – 2010)
Brian Hegarty (2011 – 2014)

Vision

Though working under a new name, our vision remains the same. A nexus is many things. For us, it is a connection point or series of connections creating inspiring and thought-provoking artistic conduits. We use this concept of the nexus to engage both artist and audience through the wide spectrum of contemporary art practice while exploring diverse notions of time and space. We are fluid and organic in our approach, however, we believe it is imperative to adhere to an ironclad integrity.

It is our mission is to promote artistic, intellectual & cultural exchange through ambitious artistic and curatorial activity including exhibitions, international exchange, collaborative projects with other art forms, commissions, publications and public participation. We collaborate with artists in productions encompassing a range of artistic and curatorial models: genres of display and presentation; diverse locations; forms of production and programming; as well as theoretical and interpretative contexts. We have developed artistic and curatorial strands using innovative concepts treated as time-sensitive transmissions, seeing the artist-run approach as vital to our identity.

Curriculum Vitae

Name: Els Borghart

E-mail: elsborghart@gmail.com

Name: Declan Kelly

E-mail: declanpbkelly@gmail.com

2019

Ten Plagues, Video artwork as part of a performance of The Belfast Ensemble, Drogheda Arts Festival Commission, Drogheda

 2018

Abomination, Video artwork as part of a performance of the Belfast Ensemble in Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Northern Ireland
The Fall of the House of Usher, Sculptural art installation as part of a performance of the Belfast Ensemble in Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Barrack Room Ballads, Video artwork and Art installation as part of a performance of BYMT and The Belfast Ensemble in The National Army Museum, London, UK

2016

• ON THE WAY/ ONDERWEG This research project about the trajectory of the arts/ curator culminated in a joint exhibition of work by Els Borghart & Declan Kelly themselves.
Researched over the course of 2 years including several residencies Tyrone Guthry Centre. Curated at Galerie De Wandelgangen, Nevele – Belgium (September 2015) and An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk (November – December 2016). Partnership with Create Louth.

2015

• AILBHE NÍ BHRIAIN/ NEXUS ARTS An Ailbhe Ní Bhriain site specific solo exhibition.
Site specific curation in The Old Schoolhouse, Drogheda. Partnership with Drogheda Arts Festival and Create Louth.

2014

• NOW & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN A travelling group exhibition including works of David Booth, Fiona Finnegan, Paraic Leahy, Eleanor McCaughey, Nicki Cheevers, Paul MacCormaic. Complemented by an artist talk by Paul MacCormaic in Droichead Arts Centre and an artist talk by Nicki Cheevers in Galway Arts Centre.
Curated at Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda (July 2014) and Galway Arts Centre, Galway (August 2014). Partnership with Create Louth, Droichead Art Centre, Galway Arts Centre.
• THE SLEEP CONCERT A 12 hour overnight site specific audio-visual performance by Steven Stapleton.
Site specific curation in Towney Hall, Drogheda. Curated for Drogheda Arts Festival. Partnership with Create Louth.

2013

• INSIGHT – INSOUND A group exhibition of audio-visual works including work of Jonathan Harris, Aaron Muson with music by Mark Templeton, Joey Bania with music by Orla Wren, Jeff Frost, Kurt Hentschläger, Thierry Gauthier.
Curated at Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda.
• GAPFILL: MORE BEAUTY, MORE HAPPINESS An Alan Magee site specific solo exhibition. Complemented by an artist talk by Alan Magee.
Site specific curation in The Old Schoolhouse, Drogheda. Partnership with Highlanes Gallery. Part of Culture Night Ireland
• ERICA IL CANE An Erica Il Cane site specific mural/ commissioned sculpture/ solo exhibition.
Curated for Drogheda Arts Festival at Droichead Arts Centre. Commissioned by Drogheda Arts Festival. Partnership with Create Louth.

2012

• DEDICATION PIECES A billboard display of work by text artist Stefan Riebel.
Site specific curation on George’s Square, Drogheda. Part of Culture Night Ireland
• DROGHEDA ARTS FESTIVAL A corridor of artwork in internal and external spaces was created to link the event locations during the festival including
Concrete Abstractions A Dee Walsh solo exhibition hosted in a pop up gallery
Outdoor sculpture by David Booth
Outdoor Community Painting by Declan Kelly
Site specific curation in a pop up gallery, Drogheda. Curated for Drogheda Arts Festival
• LOST FOR WORDS – A RETROSPECTIVE A Gee Vaucher solo exhibition complemented by an artist talk, the screening of the film ‘There is no authority but yourself’ and a screen print workshop.
Curated at Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda.
• PENNY RIMBAUD & LOUISE ELLIOTT PERFORMANCE A Penny Rimbaud performance night as a complementing closing night performance of the exhibition ‘Lost for Words – A retrospective’ by Gee Vaucher.
Curated at Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda.

2011

• CULTURE NIGHT Declan Kelly took his artist studio to Highlanes Gallery for one night, Drogheda
Curated event at Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda. Part of Culture Night Ireland
• DROGHEDA ARTS FESTIVAL A corridor of artwork in internal and external spaces was created to link the event locations during the festival including
I don’t know where I am an Adrian+Shane solo exhibition hosted in a pop up gallery.
Free Street Art by Noel Feeney and Dara Donoghue
Outdoor Community Sculpture by Declan Kelly
Site specific curation in a pop up gallery, Drogheda. Curated for Drogheda Arts Festival

2010

• VIDEO SCREENING A screening of video work by Patrick Corcoran, complimented by an artist talk and the screening of a feature length that has been of influence to his work.
Site specific curation in a pop up gallery, Drogheda.
• CULTURE NIGHT A screening of video work by film director Frank Kelly, complimented by an artist talk and the screening of a feature length that has been of influence to his work.
Site specific curation in a pop up gallery, Drogheda. Part of Culture Night Ireland
• DROGHEDA ARTS FESTIVAL A corridor of artwork in internal and external spaces was created to link the event locations during the festival including
The Scintilla of Lore, a group exhibition including work of artists Declan Kelly, Emma Mc Ferran, Paul Timoney, Kitty Rogers, Lindsey Ilona Brady, Fiona Finnegan. Hosted in a pop up gallery in Drogheda.
Street art by Noel Feeney and Fay Hutchinson
Outdoor Community Sculpture by Declan Kelly
Outdoor painting by Rodney Thornton and Dara Donoghue
Site specific curation in a pop up gallery, Drogheda. Curated for Drogheda Arts Festival
• NEXUS ART PROJECT 3 A group exhibition re-occupying 6 empty premises in the centre of Drogheda, including site specific work by Rodney Thornton, Derek McCluskey, Declan Kelly, Dara Donoghue
Site specific curation, Drogheda.
• NEXUS ART PROJECT 2 A group exhibition re-occupying 10 empty premises in the centre of Drogheda, including site specific work by Kristina McCabe, Terence Erraught, Barbara Louise Brennan, Samantha McGahon, Brian Hegarty, Declan Kelly, Noel Feeney, Jessica Bridgeman, Emily Robyn Archer
Site specific curation, Drogheda.
• NEXUS ART PROJECT 1 A group exhibition re-occupying 8 empty premises in the centre of Drogheda, including site specific work by Vivienne Byrne, Derek McCluskey, John Moloney, Garry McGuire, Noel Feeney, David Bailey
Site specific curation, Drogheda.

2019

Winner of the Drogheda Arts Festival Commission, Drogheda Arts Festival

2018

Green Fleadh Cheoil Public Art Commission, Louth County Council

2013

Winner of the Drogheda Arts Festival Commission, Drogheda Arts Festival

2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 Partnership with Create Louth
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 Drogheda Arts Festival
2014, Create Louth, Tyrone Guthrie Award
2013, Arts Council of Ireland, Visual Arts Curator Residency Scheme
2012, 2011, 2010 Create Louth, Arts Act Grant
2010, Drogheda Borough Council

2020, Professional artist summer residency programme, Arteventura, Spain
2019, Visual artist residency, Arteventura, Spain
2016, Tyrone Guthrie Artist Residency, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland
2016, Shortlisted for Ragdale, USA
2016, Shortlisted for SIM, Iceland
2015, Tyrone Guthrie Artist Residency, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland
2015, Cill Rialaig Artist Residency, Ballinskelligs, Ireland
2012, 6 week residency with Nucleo vzw, Belgium