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Tara Kennedy completed an MA in Textiles at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham in 2018 and is currently developing her practice with new areas of interest leading to the next body of work.
See her work in Vol. VIII #5
As a textile artist, Kennedy is interested in creating messages within her work originally inspired by the unity of her mixed cultural heritage. The despair she feels of different cultures and religions suffering in conflict drives her to communicate important messages of acceptance, empathy, and hope in her work. She feels it is possible through understanding of these messages that there could be more harmonious outcomes.
Her materials are chosen for their tactile quality, as she is seeking to create a comforting feeling. They include yarns, threads and fabrics, and involve knitting, wrapping, felting, knotting, and stitch. Process is also significant and references therapeutic, meditative, and calming practices.
She creates soft sculptures and wall hangings as well as detailed drawings. These drawings provide an alternative viewpoint and complement her 3D work.
To encourage the viewer to engage with her work, she uses the imagery of cages, bundles, and wrapped forms. The colored yarns provide a metaphor for the transformation from pain of suffering of blood spilt, through graduated ivory tones conveying hope. Knots express tension, wrapped bundles convey unity, and cages suggest protection.
Selected pieces from this collection have been exhibited at the James Hockey Gallery in Farnham; the Espacio Gallery and the Menier Gallery in London; St Mary’s Church in Purley-on Thames; The Old Fire Station Gallery in Henley-on-Thames; The Oxmarket gallery in Chichester; four of The Knitting and Stitching shows in the United Kingdom; and the Workers Gallery in Ynyshir, Wales, where Kennedy won the People Choice Award in their Home/Hope exhibition. She completed an MA in Textiles at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham in 2018.