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 and visual concepts 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)
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)
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 and visual concepts 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 including music, performance and theatre, 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.