Kerry considers himself a narrative artist opposed to a figurative artist. Certainly figures are important in his art, but as a conduit to tell stories.
“These are interesting times in human history. The world seems to be on a roller coaster ride, moving too fast to comprehend. Are we all hell bent on destruction or just becoming ridiculously alarmist? Are mass species extinctions and the green house effect really something to worry about? What about war, religion and world trade? A cursory flick through the television channels leaves me feeling mediocre and empty. Is this the pinnacle of our civilization?
What is the role of the artist in this cacophony of images – to produce art? All those beautiful female nudes and still lifes, landscapes – I have a lot of time for beauty. Or maybe the artist should be an activist and chronicle the injustices and problems in the world. Even offer up solutions, become a force for real change in the world – I have a lot of time for reformers. Or, closer to my heart, the artist should be a biased observer who offers a point of view, but in the end leaves the art lover to make the last judgement calI. In the final analysis shouldn’t all artists strive to take on all three rolls and more? To do less would be to ignore the most interesting times in history and ultimately sell ourselves short.
It’s calm in my studio in the bush. Even though it’s an open shed offering little respite from the elements with nasty mosquito and fly bits and at times physical discomfort, something extraordinary happens there everyday. I strive to marry literature and art. I am the biased observer playing with his wax dolls, lining them up on the window sill, bending and shaping them in an effort to recite my stories.”
Kerry Cannon is resident artist and owner/manger of Ceramic Break Sculpture Park at Warialda, north of Armidale. The park features three galleries exhibiting both paintings and sculptures by Kerry and many local artists. Take the sculpture walk and a bush walk leading to “Ceramic Break” – an isolated rocky outcrop where a participatory artwork is in progress with visitors encouraged to bring a ceramic pot and break it on the mound! On August 14, 2003 Shaunda Tsosie, Miss Navajo Nation 2002/03, first broke a ceramic pot here in the name of the four Navajo virtues: prosperity, hope, love and charity. Shaunda pronounced: respect one another’s differences and cultures and celebrate our coming together at Ceramic Break.