Peter Kennard is a photomontage artist who currently lives in London. On the 9th of January we were lucky enough to receive a talk from him in the University.
Peter started off by explaining how he got into the art world and told us that he started off by doing painting for newspapers such as the Workers Press and then started scratching into digital image. He then became interested in photomontage which is his practice today.
His photomontages are really interesting, he talked to us about where his ideas came from and how he goes about his work. He often changes the meaning of things such as political leaders speeches or archived images, his main aim is to make people think. He discussed several projects of his with us, such as his projection work and replacing a piece of artwork in the national gallery with one that makes a statement about the galleries accepting money from a well known arms manufactuer : Finmeccanica.
Source : http://fryingpanfire.com/2012/05/peter-kennards-haywain-upsets-national-gallery-over-arms-trade/
He also discussed the issues that he has with copyrights and he has been in trouble about them before particularly in his well known piece the Tony Blair selfie photomontage.
Source : http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/oct/15/tony-blair-selfie-photo-op-imperial-war-museum
Peter then talked to us about how to go about our upcoming project. He advised us to watch political speeches and look out for things that could be morphed or changed. He suggested layering different materials and looking at what looks like something else, for example helicopter blades looking like clock hands. In order to help me with my project and as a memory of the talk I also purchased his book @Earth, which exhibits a lot of photomontage pieces all intertwining with current affairs and past events.
I really appreciated having the chance to listen to Peter Kennard’s talk. He is a interesting person who has lots of ideas and opinions that he is not afraid to say and get out to the world. He is not afraid to speak up and say when something is not right. This for me was something inspiring, it taught me that I should just get what I want to say out there and not hold back just in case my opinion is not the same as others. It was as always with the artist talks, useful to know how Peter got his work seen and how he started to become a part of the art world. I would love to hear him speak again at some point and I am sure that he will have even more stories to tell that follow his pieces! Overall I was inspired by Peter’s talk and he is an artist I would like to explore more.