new bio and artist statement

Artist Biography – Amanda Kennedy
Amanda Kennedy is an emerging visual artist who primarily paints on canvas. Growing up with art being highly encouraged, it was through school life drawing classes that she fell in love with the vitality of the human body. After throwing herself into her art career only recently, she has participated in some group exhibitions around Melbourne and more recently had a solo show at Montsalvat in Eltham. Her split life between outer suburbia and inner city Melbourne stimulates her to expand her artistic wings further; of late this includes delving into watercolours, oils and soft sculpture.

I have a genuine visceral need to create, to paint, to play. I can’t not do it. Life is always better when I don’t fight this need.
I paint human bodies. We’ve all got one and they are all different. They vary from day to day even for one person. This diversity is part of why I imagine I’ll never tire of the subject matter.
I’m attracted to strong images .I often don’t know quite where I’m going when I start a piece. All I know is that there is a strong image that demands my attention.  If it happens that I disturb the viewer then I’m okay with that.

My pieces are representative of the vital energies and passions that I see in each human body

supernatural insect woman series

Not a great name but it is an accurate way to pin down my elusive thoughts for now.
I saw the Mirka Mora exhibition recently at Heide gallery and it reminded me that flights of fancy are more than acceptable in my field. Also I’ve been playing with some new paints that I recently bought and that is always inspiring.

Mum and I were also discussing the real life constraint of whether or not the customer feels that they can live with a piece of art. It’s all well and good buying art as investment – though clearly this ain’t my style. I’ve actually been discussing this with friends recently but that will be another post.

I can appreciate that certain works were ground breaking in style, technique or ideas as the time but again this doesn’t mean that I ultimately want to continue to view it in my house whether that be my intimate bedroom space, a more public living space or even walk past it often in a hallway. Please note that I’m not saying that I don’t like the work. I’m just saying that I don’t want to live with it.[The above commentary more refers to the ‘angry penguins’ group such as John Perceval, Sidney Nolan, Joy Hester and Albert Tucker (on display at the art gallery) than Mirka Mora’s work which was on display in Heide II]

This is all relevant just now as my first solo exhibition opens in the Long Gallery at Montsalvat, in Eltham.

What feeds me

How do I feel? Actually I feel very calm. Possibly it’s just asking a deeply hidden anxiety but I don’t think so. I’ve done the work so really there’s nothing more to do right now but cruise into it all.

I’ve been asked to sift through and find some items to place into a cabinet in order to add to my story

          Things that inspire me
          Things that I need
          Things that I write
          Things that I read
          Things I draw
          Things that I play with
          Things I think about

Clearly my blog is all part of this too but I can’t exactly put that inside a glass cabinet. This evening I’ve fished out some old sketch books and marked some pages that I think will work.

I did enjoy the process of hanging and found it all relatively painless. I can see that the miniscule changes could become irritating after awhile but for me the novelty of my first hang was all good.

It’s a gorgeous space in and of itself which doesn’t hurt my euphoria (plus a stunning autumn day). In fact, I did wonder if it being such a classic beauty of a space might overwhelm my work but I felt right in the space.

This afternoon since I got home, I’ve just been taking it easy. I’m in a very relaxed positive mood and one thing I love to take my time doing is to cook. There’s quite a satisfaction to be had in preparing food. My mother had given me home-grown Jerusalem artichokes straight from the garden. Into the sink they went to help ease the dirt from their skin. As I began to peel them with what may have been the world’s sharpest peeler (most fingernails are intact…) I delighted at how fresh they were. Thanks mum! An entire Paul Kelly cd’s worth of songs later and they were peeled, clean, sliced and caramelising nicely in my new copper pan with lashings of organic butter and sprigs of thyme from my front garden. Adding half a litre of vegetable stock and before you know it, a batch of delicious homemade soup for my fridge and a batch for my freezer.

So the link here is that good seasonal produce, mindful preparation and satisfaction of the senses all feed my art and fortunately at the same time – my belly

Solo exhibition

Please join me for my first ever solo exhibition.

Opening night Thursday May 22nd 6.30pm – 8.30pm. Show runs until Sunday June 22nd and is open daily 9am – 5pm. It will be held in the Long Gallery at Montsalvat, 7 Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham.

Have a glass of wine, enjoy some local art and soak up the surrounds.

It’d be lovely to see you there!