KEELY O’SHANNESSY is an Auckland-based graphic designer and artist who specialises in book cover and publications design. Over the past 10 years, she has worked for many of the publishers in New Zealand and has designed covers for numerous award-winning books.
Keely’s book cover designs have also frequently been recognised in the PANZ Book Design Awards. In 2009, The Rehearsal was shortlisted for Best Cover; in 2010 As The Earth Turns Silver was shortlisted for Best Cover and Mirabile Dictu won Best Non-Illustrated book; in 2011 No Fretful Sleeper was shortlisted for Best Cover and Best Non-illustrated Book; in 2012 A Micronaut in the Wide World was shortlisted for Best Illustrated Book, in 2013 At The White Coast was shortlisted for Best Cover and, most recently in 2016 and 2017, Pukeko Dancing on the Old Dirt Track and Tiny Owl on the Ramshackle Farm were shortlisted for Best Children’s Book. Keely was also named Young Designer of the Year in 2010 and was shortlisted for the title the previous year.
Prior to moving back to Auckland in 2006, Keely lived in Melbourne and worked as a video artist and multimedia designer. During that time she exhibited and performed at many of Melbourne’s art institutions including the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) and The State Library of Victoria. She was also contracted to work on special projects for ACMI and the Ian Potter Museum of Art; she designed educational websites and interactives for The Department of Education and she performed regularly as a VJ at many Melbourne events and venues including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Melbourne International Animation Festival, the Electundra Festival and the Big Day Out. In 2003 she was awarded an RMIT Union Arts Grant to develop ScreenTest and in 2004 she won the CCP Nikon Summer Salon Award for Best Video/Multimedia Work for her piece Glitch: Art in the age of Digital Malfunction.
Keely has a degree in Visual Arts (AUT 1998), for which she was granted the Auckland Society of Arts Scholarship covering tuition fees for the first year. She has also studied Art Curatorship at Melbourne University (2000-01) and Electronic Design and Interactive Media at RMIT (2002-3).