J.A. Kennedy


b. 1987. Born in Portsmouth, and now based in Auckland. Kennedy completed a Bachelor of Design at Massey University, Wellington in 2011. In 2016 Kennedy was invited to undertake a two month residency with the VAR Program in San Francisco, where recent developments in his practice have ultimately stemmed from. Kennedy’s work explores the relationship between the visible and the unseen layers in a work: he is interested primarily in how the viewer understands the surface appearance of a form. By combining found and traditional materials — insulating bubble wrap, galvanised steel brackets, screws, oil paint, primer, canvas, linen, and pine / cedar stretcher bars — with no defined plan for what the final surface will be, his works develop as a callus might, over time, uniting the surface of the work and its underlying support structure. By changing a material’s original intent — a canvas is still stretched, but not for the sole purpose of applying paint — Kennedy shifts the focus of a work to the amalgamation of materials, rather than the ‘image’ that the work creates. The emphasis is on the collective vitality of combined materials that now exist and are understood as a singular form.

Recent relevant exhibitions and projects include, ‘A Series of Events’ play_station gallery, Wellington (3 — 25 February 2017), facilitation and curation of the IWT Project Space series ‘((’, Auckland (1 September — 17 December 2017) (Documentation self-published in July 2018), ‘Empirical Matter’ State Gallery, Auckland (21 July — 11 August 2018).

Work held in private collections.

Surface, Space between Neck & Wrist, Instruction Paper

Gesso - Acrylic - Gesso

Landscape Portrait (w/ Various Circumnavigations)