Sinead Kennedy

Sinead Kennedy, Australia

“To me there is a sense of re-evaluation involved in Reset. How and what are we resetting in the space where our ‘normal’ reality was?”

Sinead Kennedy is an Australian artist of Korean and Irish descent currently living on the Mid North Coast of Australia. She has a lens-based art practice which is driven by an interest in social issues and a curiosity about systems and power structures. Sinead Kennedy is interested in the construction of scenes and images as a mode of visual storytelling.

“Sinead Kennedy has spent five years working on projects that highlight Australia’s —largely out of sight— brutal and dehumanizing policy of mandatory immigration detention for individuals seeking asylum. She collaborates with individuals who are either in detention, or have been ‘released’ into community detention or granted asylum in Australia, to highlight the bureaucratic system and other violence perpetrated by these institutions and policies.” said Kelly Hussey-Smith, photographer and Joop Swart Masterclass nominator.

In her 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass project, Kennedy questions how the dominant national narrative and self-image of ‘Australia’ is perpetuated through exclusionary practices. Thinking about indigenous histories, migrant experiences and erasure in relation to Australia or the idea of Australia, this project explores the incongruities that Australia holds and the practices that are resonant of its legacy of colonialism.

2020 Joop Swart Masterclass

For the first time, due to the current global health crisis, the Joop Swart Masterclass is taking place online over a period of four months, and 24 participants and eight masters have been selected to make the program more inclusive.

“I am most looking forward to seeing and discussing the development of ideas with a group of talented, engaged people. I’m also eager to create work in this strange time, seeing what comes out of it. I would like to learn new methods and approaches in the masterclass and also to gain a sense of structure and grounding of my work through this new network,” Kennedy said.

The educational experience of the Joop Swart Masterclass is based on an assignment to produce a photo essay around a given theme. This year the theme is ‘Reset’.

“The theme Reset means everything right now as we live through this shifting and undefined state of being in a pandemic. Life as we knew it is up in the air and much of what was considered to be a given is now called into question. To me there is a sense of re-evaluation involved in ‘reset’. How and what are we resetting in the space where our ‘normal’ reality was?” she said.

From July to October 2020, the participants will work on their projects and receive mentorship and guidance from the mentors. The final projects will be presented on 29 October 2020. Learn more about the 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass