Rose Finn-Kelcey was born in Northampton in 1945. She studied at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, and at Chelsea School of Art, London. Rose Finn-Kelcey sadly passed away in February 2014. Over the course of her career a selection of places Rose Finn-Kelcey exhibited at include: The Royal Academy of Art, London; The Hayward Gallery, London; Tate Britain, London; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Serpentine Gallery, London; Camden Arts Centre, London; The British School at Rome, Italy; The Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; The Saatchi Gallery, London; Documenta IX, Kassel; Chisenhale Gallery, London Matts Gallery, London; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Battersea and Bankside Power Stations. Rose Finn-Kelcey's work can be found in national and international collections, most notably within The Tate Gallery Collection, The Arts Council Collection, The British Council Collection, The Victoria & Albert Collection, the Welkunst Foundation and the Bernard Starkman Collection.
Rose Finn-Kelcey first came to prominence in the early 1970's, her artistic oeuvre is characterised by unpredictability, with each work changing dramatically from one to the next. From 1975 - 1985 Finn-Kelcey's work was almost entirely performance based, including works such as One for Sorrow Two for Joy (Acme Gallery, London,1976) and The Boilermakers' Assistant (London Calling, 1978). In 1980 she introduced the idea of a 'vacated performance' in an effort to express a desire to be both inside and yet objectively outside a work, as epitomised by Mind the Gap, (ICA, London, 1980), Glory (Serpentine Gallery, London, 1983) and Black and Blue (Matt's Gallery, London, 1984). The late 80's saw a move to more installation based work with a performative element. Finn-Kelcey's body of work is a complex amalgam of themes which investigate power, the dilemmas of mastery, the myth of the artist, the nature of collaboration, the surrogate performer, spirituality, longing and death. Invocations of the spiritual are a recurring motif in Finn-Kelcey's work. In the early 90's Finn-Kelcey made work that challenged the material and spiritual limits of our built environment through works such as her room sized block of steam (held in place by cold air curtains).