With different shapes, forms and colours, I try to express ideas and emotions. My intention is to touch and excite the imagination. Until we can imagine a possibility it is not likely to happen. For me the idea is the most important part of the process, rather than the result. With any luck the tangible piece will faithfully represent the idea, usually with some twist that the process itself introduces. In this way my art happens.
I attended Vancouver Art School, now called the Emily Carr College of Art, in the early 70’s, where I studied painting and metal sculpture. After graduating I traveled to Europe and then returned to Vancouver and set up a studio. Feeling the need for change, I moved to Toronto in 1978. A studio in a downtown warehouse enabled me to create larger work and I began experimenting with pouring paint onto canvases stretched on the floor. In these works the interaction of colour became my main focus. It was during this time that I met my wife Carol. When she became pregnant we started looking for a place in the country outside Toronto. It turned out to be Cape Breton. At this time I was beginning to feel a need for more structure in my work. On our arrival in Cape Breton I fell in love with the landscape and so I worked in that direction for a number of years.
Several years ago, I responded to the ever-present need to change and began to experiment and study three-dimensional forms which has led to my most recent work, sculptures of metal, fiberglass and cement.
There have been many shifts in my work over the years but the basic underlying drive remains the same; that is to touch and excite the imagination.
A native of Ottawa, Carol began her career as a photographic artist in the mid-Seventies following a degree in photography from the Institute of Design in Chicago where she studied with Peter Gold. She won the Toronto Art Directors Club Merit Award and the National Magazine Award for Photography for her early work as a fashion photographer in Toronto before moving to Cape Breton with her husband, sculptor Gordon Kennedy. Her work now hangs in collections across Canada, the US and Europe.
Working in black-and-white and with hand-coloured photographs, Carol became well known for her moody landscapes as well as her unique portraits. In 1989, she segued this latter talent into a successful career photographing many of Nova Scotia’s finest talent, including: the Rankin Family, Rita MacNeil, Bruce Guthro, Natalie MacMaster and Rawlins Cross, to name a few. She then expanded upon this work in the music industry by becoming involved in the design and layout of CD artwork. Nominated for a Juno Award for CD Photography in 1997, Carol went on to win an East Coast Music Award (ECMA) for best graphic design in 1998, and the ECMA for Best Photographer in 2001.
Carol’s artistry further evolved with her embrace of the digital age in the early 90s. Digital photography, she said, allowed her to pursue an entirely new creative path and she honed in and made her photos speak in a surrealistic world of her own creation.
Her retrospective exhibit Twenty Eight Years with a Camera at the University of Cape Breton (UCB) Art Gallery in October, 1998, drew both critical acclaim and a record number of visitors to the gallery.
Her work was featured in the 1999 winter issue of the Pottersfield Portfolio and she was the magazine’s photography editor for a number of years. Her art has been critiqued in both Arts Atlantic and Visual Arts Nova Scotia and is published in three collections of photographs.
Carol Kennedy’s work is included in the art galleries of both Nova Scotia and Ontario; the C.B.U. Art Gallery; the Canada Council Art Bank and the Nova Scotia Art Bank; the National Film Board of Canada; the Jane Corkin Gallery and a large number of private collections.
Studio gallery & working forge
Located on the beautiful Cabot Trail, Iron Art & Photographs was founded by artist couple Carol and Gordon Kennedy in the early 90’s as place to create and showcase their artwork.
The building contains a sculpture studio complete with working forge and a gallery space.