20 November 2008 - 20 December 2008



Peter Kennedy is best known as a conceptual artist, whose large scale installation works are most frequently seen in the context of the museum.

Over the years Peter has had what he calls a "subterranean practice" of traditional watercolour landscape painting. These drawings of gum trees in some ways reflect that interest as well. An interest in the gum tree as subject can be traced to a childhood love for its representation in Australian art while Peter was growing up in the 1950's. By the 1960's, the gum tree and the ‘gum tree school' had fallen into disfavour. Since then any connection between art and the gum tree has been artistically ‘suspect.'

The drawings presented here draw on several impulses. There is, of course, the pleasure of drawing, working with charcoal, watercolour and pastel in combination and on a larger scale than is traditionally the case. However, in so doing there is also an implicit acknowledgement of the gum tree's iconic presence in Australian art history and culture and so it is that "in these drawings, the gum tree is recast."


KENNEDY_ONETWOTHREEFOUR (gumtrees)_Press Release Nov 2008 (PDF)

Artwork from exhibition by  ,


watercolour, pastel, charcoal, gouache