Associate Professor Kelli Scott Kelley’s Surreal Fairytale Available from LSU Press
“Accalia and the Swamp Monster” links mixed-media paintings with a story of atonement and transformation in the Louisiana swamp
BATON ROUGE – As the author and artist of a heroine’s surreal journey through a haunting southern landscape, Kelli Scott Kelley reveals the mastery of her craft in “Accalia and the Swamp Monster,” published by LSU Press. Borrowing from Roman mythology, Jungian analysis, and the psychology of fairy tales, Kelley presents a story of family dysfunction, atonement, and transformation.
Reproductions of Kelley’s artwork – mixed-media paintings executed on repurposed antique linens – punctuate the tale of Accalia, who is tasked with recovering the arms of her father from the belly of the swamp monster. Visually and metaphorically, Accalia’s odyssey enchants and displaces as Kelley delicately balances the disquieting with the familiar.
Rich in symbolism and expertly composed, “Accalia and the Swamp Monster” pulls readers into the physical realm through Kelley’s chimerical imagery, then pushes them toward the inner world of the subconscious. To that end, Kelley’s story is accompanied by essays from Jungian analyst Constance Romero and art historian Sarah Bonner.
A culmination of nearly a decade of work, introspection, and research, “Accalia and the Swamp Monster” is an entrancing display of Kelley’s art and an affirmation of the transformative power of fairy tales.
Kelley, associate professor of painting at LSU, has exhibited and lectured throughout the U.S. Her work is featured in permanent collections at the Tyler Museum of Art in Texas, the LSU Museum of Art in Baton Rouge, and the Eugenia Summer Gallery in Columbus, Mississippi.