In her quest to understand the living world around us, Kennedy explores unfolding narratives of Mother Nature’s percipient brutality, the impermanence of life and the mending spirit of community to produce her latest body of work.
Kennedy is a storyteller deeply transfixed with the ancient landscapes of small coastal towns; her fascination is conceived by the unruly beauty and sheer expansiveness of such places.
Originating from the nearby city of Geraldton, for the artist there is a certain sense of summoning back to the Midwest region. Over the course of the past year, Kalbarri has become a constant source of wonderment throughout Kennedy’s many visits. A place to disconnect from the constant demands of urban living and a sanctum to nurture her children’s curiosity and wonder.
What will be the artist’s first solo exhibition, Kennedy hopes to capture the feelings felt during her last visit to Kalbarri; a restless town awaiting Cyclone Seroja. “It began as a simple painting trip up there, an outing familiar to me. People began talking of a cyclone coming through in the coming days and there was some angst in the town. Some locals didn’t believe they should worry, and others were racing around tying things down”.
Kennedy left Kalbarri to hear of the town’s destruction; stories of families in Northampton and surrounds hiding in their bathtubs and under their mattresses for hours on end and incredibly heavy structures being flung hundreds of metres.
“I began to think about the impermanence of landscape. That things may appear solid, yet can be naturally broken, lifted and shifted”.
Through a collision of mediums, Kennedy paints nature in a beautifully disordered way. A series cultivated through emotional entanglement and shaped by personal interactions, Kennedy’s work is a response to the town’s emotional state of being during this time.
An acknowledgment of beauty and disruption formed through her depictions of merciless crumbling coastline, vast banded gorges, and extensive caves ignited in brilliant hues of red rust and ochre.
A predominance of her artworks reference the sedimentary rock formation, ‘The Tumblagooda Sandstone’ which holds over 400 million years of history of the Murchison River and its ecosystem.
“We are merely passengers of this ancient land and this body of work celebrates the awe of the monumental landscape surrounding Kalbarri”, says Kennedy.
Exploring themes of resiliency and recovery, Kennedy examines the greatness of Mother Nature; a force that simultaneously inspires awe and instills angst within us.