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. He was one of the first Australian artists to work with light as installation, creating immersive environments through minimalist arrangements of coloured neon tubes. Since this time, his experimental, groundbreaking body of work has encompassed installation, performance, photography, sound, video and drawing. In the late 1970s his practice became more politically engaged and activist in nature, exploring and interrogating actual political events. Later works have encompassed notions of death and mortality from both historical and personal perspectives.
Kennedy has exhibited widely both in Australia and overseas. He was a founding member of the avant-garde Sydney artist-run initiative Inhibodress in the early 1970s and was Director of the University of Sydney Art Workshop (The Tin Sheds) from 1980 to 1985. He was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship in 1994 and in 1996 he took up an Earthwatch Fellowship in Papua New Guinea. The Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne held a retrospective survey of his work, Peter Kennedy: Selected Works 1970-2002 in 2002. A solo exhibition Peter Kennedy: Light Years 1970-71 was presented at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, in 2011. Recent group exhibitions include Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); Sweet Spot, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2009); Gallery A Sydney: 1964-1983, Campbelltown Arts Centre and Newcastle Regional Gallery (2009); Figuring Landscapes, International Centre for Fine Art Research, University of the Arts, London (2008) and The Far Side of the Moon, McLelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Langwarrin (2007). His works are held in Australian state gallery and university collections and at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; the Tate Gallery, London and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Peter Kennedy quoted in 1996, Peter Kennedy: Selected Works 1970-2002, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, 2002.
Works by Peter Kennedy
MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context– Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) 2005
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