Otago Polytechnic

Alexandra Kennedy's paintings explore the inner rather than the outer world.

She is one of many painters who work with non-objective abstraction; their work is an expression of their exploration of ideas, without portraying or referencing any real world objects. The ideas Alex is exploring through her work could be described as metaphysical or philosophical, for example alternatives to our three-dimensional reality. The painting itself is an object, which starts to merge with the ideas that it is representing, or even to question the concept of painting.

Alex exhibits her work locally and internationally, including in Paris in June/July 2016. The Counterpoint exhibition at Factory 49 ParisPop Up, of new works by Michelle Le Dain and Alexandra Kennedy, explored the contradictions and synergies in contrepoint through harmonious but independent use of colour ‘melody’. The works are bound together within a non-objective parameter, using parallel themes but in different and particular ways. Alex used the stripe to build up asymmetric planes which float in an indeterminate space. The work is situated in the context of non-objective practices, of which the stripe is a well established motif. The location of these planes in a black space invites consideration of Suprematist interests in planar geometry and ideas concerning cosmic space as the arena, and anti-gravity as the project, for artistic activity.

Such exhibitions provide opportunities for members of the public not just to enjoy an aesthetic experience but also to stretch the boundaries of their own minds to explore new things. The paintings are the product of Alex's thinking and making so they provide the public with access to her ideas, while viewers also bring their own ideas and memories to the process of viewing and interpreting the works, allowing the works to speak to them. In this case  her work engages with the zero gesture in painting, addressing the critical relevancy of painting and its ability to reflect upon and engage with its own histories. Hence it could be described as painting about painting, or meta-painting.

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CREATIVE & PERFORMING ARTS

October 2016