The Art Against War exhibition currently running in the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield sets out to mark the 60th anniversary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) with a showcase of work by UK based artist Peter Kennard. Kennard is widely renowned for creating some of the movement’s most potent images.
Seeking to reflect his involvement in the anti-Vietnam War movement, Kennard abandoned painting in the 1970s in search of new forms of expression that could bring art and politics together for a wider audience. This search has resulted in making photomontage and installation work over many years covering major political events. The visual language he has developed to the present day uses common news imagery, photojournalism and the face. He has often worked in collaboration with writers, photographers, filmmakers and artists.
Kennard is best known for the images he created for the CND in the 1970s–80s including a détournement of John Constable’s The Hay Wain called “Haywain with Cruise Missiles”.
CND was formed in February 1958 in response to the detonation of Britain’s first hydrogen bomb and the Government’s agreement to house American nuclear weapons on British soil. Throughout the 1970s and 80s Kennard’s hugely powerful photomontages ensured that the movement, and the striking imagery that came to represent it, were etched onto the public consciousness.
Kennard has gone on to become one of Britain’s leading political artists, creating work which has come to define modern protest. His iconic, haunting images have appeared in publications such as New Scientist, The Guardian, New Statesmen and many more.
The Art Against War exhibition runs until Sunday 7 October 2018 at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield (Free Entry)