Peter Kennedy on his ‘Neon Light Installations’ 1970-2002

Spread the love

Have you ever wanted to be in a coloured rainbow? To walk through light? Hear artist Peter Kennedy talk about his early light works and how, in the early 1970s, he was the first artist to show an installation artwork in Australia. An inquisitive pioneer, Peter drew inspiration from the discoveries he made of the 1970s New York art scene through his trips to the library.

Interview recorded with Peter Kennedy at his Melbourne studio in 2014 discussing his work Neon Light Installations 1970-2002.

Learn more about Peter Kennedy in the MCA Collection Online

Peter Kennedy, born 1945, Brisbane, Queensland. Lives and works Melbourne, Victoria. John Hughes, born 1948, Coburg, Victoria. Lives and works Melbourne, Victoria. Peter Kennedy began exhibiting in the mid 1960s. By the end of that decade, he had begun to forge new territory in Australia through his conceptually aligned art practice and light-based installations. He was one of the first Australian artists to work with light as installation, creating immersive environments through minimalist arrangements of coloured neon tubes. Since this time, his experimental, groundbreaking body of work has encompassed installation, performance, photography, sound, video and drawing. In the late 1970s his practice became more politically engaged and activist in nature, exploring and interrogating actual political events. Later works have encompassed notions of death and mortality from both historical and personal perspectives.