See what's on at the

Browse What's On

– Highlights


Grayson Perry

10 Dec - 01 May


Primavera 2015

22 Sep - 06 Dec


Matthys Gerber

22 Sep - 06 Dec

Create and Learn at the

All Learning Programs

– Learning Events


Booked out: Educator Exclusive

26 Nov, 5.30pm, Level 3: Creative Studios in NCCL



06 Dec, 6.00pm, Throughout the MCA


Contemporary Art Studio

31 Mar, 10.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

Find out more about the

About the MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Getting Real (Time)

Artist Educator Stephanie Lade reflects on the process of creating a new learning program designed to open up experimental media processes to Primary and Secondary students. more

Farewell Simryn Gill with MCA Young Guides

Listen to an extract of MCA Young Guides tour of Volume One: MCA Collection, as we farewell Simryn Gill’s Carbon Copy (assimilate). more

View the Collection

Browse Collection

– Spotlights from the collection online

Volume One: MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection on display

Remain in Light: Photography from the MCA Collections

On tour until October 2015


Watch our latest artist interview with Khaled Sabsabi

Peter Kennedy

Untitled (Drawing for Neon Light Installations) 1970

Museum of Contemporary Art, gift of Irene Sutton 2005

acrylic on paper

H 61.5 W 52cm
H 80.5 W 66.5cm

About the Artwork

These preparatory sketches were made by Peter Kennedy for his exhibition of neon light works, Neon Light Installations, at Sydney’s Gallery A in 1970. Kennedy started out as a painter in the late-1960s, but his interests shifted in the direction of more open-ended experiments with sound, vision and space. His adoption of neon light as a material offered a new visual mode and the possibility of experimenting with different materials, ideas and synergies. Neon was a new medium when Kennedy took it up in the 1970s and like Pop Art, it spoke to the pervasive effects of advertising and to the growing culture of consumption and consumerism in the western world. Kennedy’s experimental use of the medium was in step with the light and video art of the 1960s and the growing importance of kinetic and electronic art of the 1970s.

Neon Light Installations was one of the first examples of installation art in Sydney. An emergent aspect of this innovative practice was its focus on the value of documentation; of constantly recording all the stages and effects of the work through a variety of means. Kennedy documented his installations through slides, photographs, films and sketches. Such documentation had an aesthetic aspect and was considered an important element of the work as a whole. Preparatory sketches such as these are accomplished works on their own as well as offering valuable insight into the artist’s thought processes and planning of this work


Peter Kennedy quoted in 1996, Peter Kennedy: Selected Works 1970-2002, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, 2002.

I have had an abiding belief that an artwork’s capacity to resonate in the minds of an audience is very much contingent on its ‘poetic’ presence.

Peter Kennedy, 2002

Peter Kennedy

– About the artist


Peter Kennedy was born in Brisbane in 1945 and currently lives and works in Melbourne. Kennedy began exhibiting in the mid 1960s and by the end of that decade had begun to forge new territory in Australia through his conceptually aligned art practice and light based installations.

Learn more
– Other works by the artist

– View also


Related Exhibitions

In the Shop