Kennard & Phillips | Untitled (Iraq)
27 JANUARY – 18 MARCH 2006
Peter Kennard and Cat Picton Phillipps have been working together since the invasion of Iraq to make work that attempts to show the extent of the devastation meted out to the Iraqi people.
In 2005 they were in residence at Norwich Gallery as part of EASTinternational, selected by Gustav Metzger. They set up a studio making posters and prints which were then given away to activists, anti-war groups and members of the public. The printed material was also made available and can still be downloaded from EAST’s website: www.east05.net (listed under the artists’ names).
During the residency they also began a series of paintings, seven of which will be included in this exhibition. Photographs taken in Iraq by news photographers have been digitally montaged together to form larger images printed on canvas and then combined with oil paint. The images focus very precisely on an event and then disintegrate into ‘the fog of war’. An image of a brick wall comes through in most of the canvasses, blocking movement by the people depicted and acting as a barrier but also a surface on which disintegrating images of Iraqi victims are fly-posted in the manner of posters
in the street.
The paintings are landscapes of the war. They represent multiple views elided together; there is no specific punch line as they aim to get the viewer involved through the build up and layering of images from Iraq since the start of the invasion in 2003.
“As artists we are responding viscerally to events as they happen. Through the new technology of digital media it is now possible to print photographs in such a way that they combine with paint indistinguish-able from the photograph. We can take the photographic facts of war and unleash our response through the medium of paint. The result is not smooth and seamless as in a print; it is rough; unfinished, broken, fractured, representing an anger and frustration with the actions of our governments.”
Last year Kennard and Phillipps made a series of prints titled ‘Award’ that was shown at Henry Peacock Gallery, London and Street Level Gallery, Glasgow and was bought by the V&A. The series will be shown at the V&A in May 2006.
Peter Kennard was born in London in 1949 and is currently Senior Lecturer in Photography at the Royal College of Art. His work in known internationally, gaining exposure in galleries, on the streets and in newspapers, magazines and books.
Cat Picton Phillipps was born in Edinburgh in 1972. She has worked in London for the past eight years and runs a small print studio ‘K and C’ in East London. She has been working on collaborative projects with Peter since 2003.