Peter Kennard (born 1949) is an artist whose work since the late 1960’s has involved a reconfiguration of media imagery and language. Kennard’s work is profoundly political in nature and can be seen as a visual manifestation of the struggles against economic inequality, war, climate change and the erasure of civil rights.
Through photomontage, the primary tool of his work, he seeks to deconstruct imagery and language as presented in mass media and then reconstruct it to bring together cause and effect. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with NGOs, charities and campaigning organisations transforming his work from an artistic representation of dissenting voices, into a tool for social change. Kennard has increasingly incorporated different materials into the making of his work, partly as a response to the dominance of screen based imagery in our lives.
By exhibiting in publicly funded galleries, Kennard, alongside collaborator Cat Phillipps, is able to facilitate workshops for the public to become engaged in working with computers, printed imagery and autographic mark making, thereby empowering them to intervene personally in manipulating imagery.
Kennard has exhibited across the world, including solo exhibitions at Imperial War Museum, London; Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool; United Nations, Geneva and Gallery Fifty 24MX, Mexico City. He has participated in group exhibitions at Tate Liverpool; Tate Modern, London; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Tallin Art Hall, Estonia; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and Gallerie Vallois, Paris.
Peter Kennard | It is fantastic to get this award which has been given in the past to so many terrific artists and composers who have striven for truth in their work beyond the strictures of the market. It has come at just the right time as I am trying to develop new gallery-based work that could open up 3-dimensional space for sculptural photomontage dealing with the horrific disparity between needless poverty and bloated arms spending, while connecting it to climate catastrophe and war. It feels increasingly urgent to develop accessible art forms that attempt to rip through the lies in our post-fact world to address inhumanity. The award, thanks to the generosity of Paul Hamlyn Foundation, will give me the time and the financial resources for living and materials, to experiment on these issues without compromise for three years.