Kenneth’s tertiary education started when he received a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Composition from The University of Auckland in 2004. In 2012 he was one of ten finalists and three winners to exhibit in the Chorus New Zealand Student Digital Art Exhibition in Times Square, New York. Since graduating from Unitec with a Bachelor of Design and Visual Arts in 2012, Kenneth has been developing his studio practice, teaching Design and Animation at Unitec and maintaining a studio at Corban Estate Arts Centre in
Eclectic ideas are the source of Kenneth’s practice. His process stems from theories of Gestalt psychology, namely ‘Visual Thinking’ which involves the use of instinctual and non-linguistic formation of language. It is in his investigation of ‘Visual Thinking’ and attempts to make sense of the World through subconscious intelligence that he forms his own unique visual and conceptual language. His work is further informed by personally accumulated experiences which include his Pacific heritage as well as a media saturated 80s adolescence filled with video games, comic books, encyclopaedias and libraries.
Kenneth’s first solo exhibition Loops & Lines, shown at Whitespace Contemporary Art in January 2015 consists of large format unstretched canvas wall hangings and is loosely framed by a variety of thematic frameworks and ideas. Thematically, the works explore ideas of cultural heritage, hybridity and location. The patterns and symbols used in his works are not in reference to any particular Pacific or cultural cues, but Kenneth does not deny that his European, Tongan and Maori culture have an inherent impact on his work. With a curiosity about his metaphysical and geographical position within the World. He uses a series of processes. He starts with intuitive mark making and then an evolving line of questioning which serves to alleviate and investigate the tension of the unknown, whilst acknowledging that with each answer, there is another question.
Kenneth has exhibited in a number of group and solo exhibitions including: FLWC & AFCT, Corban Estate Arts Centre, Auckland, 2016; Ride The Fire, Pearce Gallery, Auckland, 2014; Hold Your Breath, Whitespace Contemporary Art, Auckland, 2014; Estuary Artworks, Uxbridge Creative Arts Centre/Fo Guang Shan Temple, Auckland, 2014; Launch, Lakehouse Art Centre, Auckland, 2014; Saloon des Ferari II, Ferari, Auckland, 2013; Whiplash, Corban Estate Arts Centre, Auckland, 2013; How Iconic, Uxbridge Creative Arts Centre, Auckland, 2013; Painters in the Third Dimension, Nathan Homestead, Auckland, 2013; Mix One Six, paper/cupboard, Auckland, 2013; Neighbourhood, Corban Estate Arts Centre, Auckland, 2013; Gang Bang, Method & Manners Studio, Auckland, 2012; Finding Neitherland, St Paul Street Gallery, Auckland, 2011 and Aquemini, Catch SS public project, Tokyo, 2010.
Kenneth Merrick is represented by Whitespace Contemporary Art, New Zealand.