George Kennedy

King Island New Works

26 October – 23 November 2023

Despard Gallery is excited to launch our new DG Online platform with a special release of new works by emerging Tasmanian artist George Kennedy.  Kennedy has created nine new works as part of this special online exhibition, prior to holding his inaugural solo exhibition with Despard Gallery in October 2024.

Kennedy has recently returned from six week long stay on King Island as part of their Artist Residency Program. During his stay, Kennedy immersed himself in the local environment, using the opportunity to develop new work as well as engaging the local community through arts workshops and education programs. The unique regional environment of King Island provided a stimulating environment for Kennedy, gaining valuable personal and creative experiences around the unique aspects of the Tasmanian environment, its history and community. Through bright colours and playful abstraction, Kennedy shares the complexity of this environment, using bold line and form to explore where the manmade and organic converge. 

It was windy when I landed on the small island of 1700 people. The intensity of the weather sparked an excitement in me lasting the entire residency. Colours seemed brighter and the air was fresh. It was getting dark by the time I got to my new home, shadowed by the lighthouse, and I wandered down to the rocks to watch the waves smash against the shore. I drew for hours that night, comforted by the sounds of swirling blackness outside, impatiently wondering what I would discover as the blanks on the map slowly filled in.

Every day, I walked to my wharfside studio, often in horizontal rain, and occasionally offered lifts by complete strangers. Each encounter with the community lifted my spirits even further; every wave from another driver, a random chat in the IGA, the odd rescue from a car breakdown, being given extra food and firewood, or teaching my weekly drawing workshop. Even the confusing, colloquial directions sent me on some fantastic misadventures, always accompanied by the ever-changing horizon.  The weather impacted and enhanced everything. It shaped the landscape, sculpted the trees and made them dance. People lived around the weather, houses nestled between the scrub. I felt grounded. It was hard to leave.  – George Kennedy October 2023

Click here to register your interest for George Kennedy.


Click here to request virtual viewing room catalogue for George Kennedy