BLACKBOARD: Peter Kennard - Blackboard@Earth. For over forty-years, Peter Kennard’s photo-based work has represented a singular commitment to the political effect of images.
Seeking creative traction for his anti-Vietnam War sentiments, early in his career Kennard made what would be a definitive move from painting to political photomontage. Channelling the work of previous adherents to the discipline – artists such as Peach-Robinson, Rejlander, or later Hausmann, Hoch, Schwitters and most notably, in a political sense, John Heartfield – Kennard came to notoriety through his work in the 1970s-80s for the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
For Kennard, “artists can be art workers in the war against war.” His output – at times visceral and discomforting – continues to demonstrate the importance of that combative principle. Extending his @EARTH project, already a major solo exhibition at Raven Row, London and a book published by Tate (both 2011), Kennard’s work for SPACE’s Blackboard will explore the relationship between environmental degradation and the exploitative nature of our global political system.
Peter Kennard was born in London in 1949. Between 1965 and 1979, he studied at Byam Shaw, the Slade and the Royal College of Art. He has had solo exhibitions at the ICA, London (1981); Barbican, London (1985); and Pump House Gallery, London (2008). Since 1990 he has also had seven solo exhibitions at Gimpel Fils, London. His work has been included in the group exhibitions ‘Rude Britannia’, Tate Britain (2010) (kennardphillipps); ‘Media Burn’, Tate Modern (2006); and ‘Forms of Resistance’, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2007) and was subject to a major retrospective ‘@Earth’ at Raven Row, London (2011). Kennard is a senior tutor in Photography at the Royal College of Art, and has a studio with SPACE at Martello Street.
We are selling copies of Kennard's @earth in our reception area,
@earth is as revolutionary in form as it is in content. It is a story without words told in the universal language of photomontage, long the favoured medium of radical artists. For the past four decades Peter Kennard has consistently challenged power structures and injustice, from his anti-nuclear works of the 1980s to the powerful images he created in response to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
@earth is a photo-essay in seven chapters, combining new works, made together with Tarek Salhany, with iconic images from throughout Kennard’s 40-year career. Shocking, haunting and unsettling, @earth makes a powerful statement about the current eco-crisis, the arms race and the injustices dominating today’s world.
Priced at £9.99, published by Tate Publishing 2011