Research and Analysis: Peter Kennard

London-born artist Peter Kennard adopted photomontage in the 1970’s as a way to bring art and politics together. He created his most effective work in the Cold War era, when he was protesting government spending on missiles and military warfare. The photomontage shown below is part is a series of nine photomontages titled “Warheads”. The purpose of the series was to draw attention to the death and destruction being caused by the war and the horrifying amount of time and money that was spent on fuelling the war, rather than stopping it.

never again
I chose this particular montage because Kennard has expertly combined the mushroom cloud of the Hiroshima bomb and the human skeleton to comment on the horrific consequences that the atomic bombs had on human life. In the bottom right and left hand corners, he also added the exact times that the bombs were dropped on the different locations, which emphasizes the fact that these were real events that affected huge populations of people terribly.

As well as the political and moral message behind this montage, I think Kennard made good use of the contrast between black and white in the image, and I like how the yellow text stands out and puts emphasis on the message he is trying to send. He wants to encourage people to stand against war and destruction.


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