Smuts-Kennedy’s practice is focused on a research based investigation into fields of energy as they engage with conceptual thinking both within an art based language and other intuition driven modes of enquiry.

Her art practice synthesises broad research territories that integrate restorative horticultural and esoteric knowledge. Over the past decade she has been able to test these out at both a social sculptural scale across New Zealand, and her studio based practice. These projects have enabled her to develop embodied knowledge that has culminated in delivering large scale energy installations both within community, landscape and contemporary art contexts. The foundation of her practice centres around performing the possibility of healing with the outcomes of this performance (her life) giving form to artefacts that vibrate the qualities of joy, the vibration when experienced in the bodies of biological life occur as aliveness, balance and peacefulness.

Born 1966, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand
Working with Laree Payne Gallery, Hamilton, New Zealand


2012 MFA First Class Honours, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland
2010 PG Dip, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland


2023 Love Window, Laree Payne Gallery, Sydney Contemporary Artfair
2022 Energy Work, Te Pātaka Toi, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington
2022 Leaning into the Shine, Laree Payne Gallery, Hamilton
2021 Joy Field, Sumer, Tauranga
2019 Energy in Quiescence, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

2017 Frequency of the Earth, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand
Light Language, Te Uru, Auckland, New Zealand
Awake, McCahon House Museum

2016 Point to Periphery, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne
Events within Boundaries, Rm Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
2014 Field Work, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne
2013 Shape Analysis, Rm Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
2012 Principal Of Hope, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne
2011 Unearthed; Encroachment Of The Commons, Wollongong Regional Gallery, NSW, Australia

2009 Another Day in Paradise, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney
Pretty, as a Picture, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne
Pyramid Scheme, The John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle, NSW

2008 Cliffhanger, GBK Gallery, Sydney
Competing continents of Bling, Kiosk, Physics Room, Christchurch

2006 Painting Rubbish, GBK Gallery, Sydney
Ether, Nature Morte Gallery, New Delhi, India
2005 Ether, GBK Gallery, Sydney
2004 Ascension, GBK Gallery, Sydney

2003 Behold The Man, GBK Gallery (Inaugural Exhibition), Sydney


2023 Discharge, Installation Sydney, Sydney Contemporary Artfair, 2023
2023 Soul Breath, Laree Payne Gallery, Aotearoa Artfair
2021 When the Dust Settles, Artspace Aotearoa
2018 Unseen, Unknown, Unveiled, Malcolm Smith Gallery, Auckland
2017 Video Easy, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne

2016 Chain of Mountains, TCB, Melbourne
Weird Ceramics, Gippsland Art Gallery, Victoria
Soft Architecture, Malcolm Smith Gallery,(Inaugural Exhibition), Auckland

2013 From light, forms, Breenspace, Sydney
Relief, Window, Auckland
2012 Link, Snake Pit, Auckland

2011 The New Arcadia, Lismore Regional Gallery, NSW
Black, Cessnock Regional Gallery, NSW

2010 Shifting Sands, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, NSW
Curious Colony, Newcastle Region Gallery, NSW
2009 Wax On, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, NSW

2007 Roger Williams Contemporary, Auckland
gbk @ Silvershot, Melbourne
2006 Bitmap, International Photo Project, Alternative Space Loop, Korea

2005 December Group, GBK Gallery, Sydney
GBK Group Show, Span Galleries, Melbourne

2004 Refresh: 10 years of Photo Technica New Australian Photo Artist of the Year, ACP, Sydney
Portraiture The Art of Social Commentary, Te Tuhi, Auckland
Group Show, GBK Gallery, Sydney


2016-2022 For the Love of Bees- A City Bee Collaboration, Auckland City Council
Regenerate Now
Urban Farmers Alliance

2014-2015 The Park, Collaboration with Taarati Taiaroa, Auckland City Council, Pop


2019 Creative New Zealand Research Grant – Japan Kyoto Research of Humanity and Nature
2016 McCahon House Residency

2015 Artspace, Auckland
Rm gallery, Auckland

2009 Artspace, Sydney
Lock Up, Newcastle, Australia


2015 Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award, Waikato, finalist
2010 Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award, Waikato, finalist
2009 RBS Emerging Artist Award, Sydney, finalist

2008 17th Annual Wallace Art Awards, finalist
Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award, Waikato Museum, New Zealand, finalist

2005 Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, Gold Coast, Queensland
ABN AMRO Australian Emerging Artist Finalist. Renzo Piano Building, Sydney

2004 ABN AMRO Australian Emerging Artist, Finalist, Renzo Piano Building Sydney
Conrads Jupiter Art Prize, Gold Coast, Queensland
Citibank Photographic Archibald Prize, New South Wales Gallery, Sydney

2002 Winner of Photo Technica New Australian Photo-Artist of the Year, Australian Centre For Photography.


10 Cubed Collection, Melbourne
Art Bank, Sydney
Art Gallery of South Australia
Deutsche Bank, Sydney
James Wallace Art Trust
Macquarie Group Collection, Sydney
Newcastle Regional Art Gallery
Wollongong Regional Art Gallery


Reflecting on Practice, Energy Work, Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery
Being with the Seed, Energy Work, Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery
Hilma af Klint, Wellington City Art Gallery
Anne McCahon, Auckland Art Gallery
Frequency of the Earth, Artspace Aotearoa
Post Residency McCahon, Auckland Art Gallery
Light Language, Te Uru
Artspace Auckland
Artspace Sydney


Energy Work, essays by Robyn Pickens, Jennifer Higgie and Natasha Conland, edited by Dr Christina Barton. Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery, 2023
Confidence Springs from Hope, Bryant, Jan 2022
Light Language. 2021
Star circuit: Heart circuit Events within boundaries
Fissure in the Rhythm Between Things. 2014 June 2016
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy Unearthed encroachment of the commons. Slade, Lisa. Wollongong City Gallery, September 2011
Shifting Sands, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, NSW, 2010
Curious Colony a twenty first century Wunderkammer. Slade, Lisa. Newcastle Region Gallery, NSW, 2010
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy: Pretty, as a Picture. After the Apathy-Pulp Fictions. Feary, Mark. Sophie Gannon Gallery Melbourne. June
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy: Ether. Indecipherable Eloquence. MacNeil, Jess. July 2005
Portraiture the art of social commentary. Te Tuhi 2004. P.16-17
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy: Ascension. Keehan, Rueben. GBK Sydney. June 2004
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy:Behold the Man. Breen, Sally. GBK Sydney. August 2003


Sydney Contemporary 2023: Advisory Selections, Ocula, Sydney, 6th September 2023
Star Dust To Star Dust, Camilla Wagstaff, Art Collector, Sydney Contemporary Edition, 2023
Inside the glamorous, frenetic and fantastical Sydney Contemporary, André Chumko, Waikato Times, September 8th, 2023
‘Inner-tuition’ – Inside the Studio and Mind of Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, June 19 2023, The Big Idea
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy Pastels, Dornauf, Peter, EyeContact, September 2022
Joy Field, Cole, Hannah, Island Magazine, Spring 2022
Jack Be Nimble, Tom Augustine, Artnews New Zealand, Summer 2022
Jack Be Nimble, Leonard, Robert, Artnews New Zealand, Winter 2022
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, Gardiner, Sue, Art Collector pg 110
Re-enchanting the world-projects by Sarah Smuts-Kennedy. Brennan, Stella. Art New Zealand, issue 182, Winter 2022 (pending)
Cultivating a climate of change, Smuts-Kennedy, Sarah. Organic NZ Magazine, 22 Feb 2022. P56-61.
A Field of Joy: Energy, Hyperobjects and Artefacts. Du Bern, Dan. The Art Paper. 13 Oct, 2021
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy : Joy Field, Art Collector, 2021
Collectors Sarah Smuts-Kennedy and Hamish Coney, My Art, 2021
New book a conversation between bee lovers. Smuts-Kennedy, Sarah, Canvas Magazine, NZ herald. 24th Sept, 2021
Taonga Artist Sarah Smuts-Kennedys, Sun Studio. Wane, Joanna. Canvas Magazine, NZ herald. 1 Oct, 2021
Other ways of talking. Smuts-Kennedy, Sarah. Stone Soup , 5th August, 2021
Regenerative Conversations, Peress, Oscar. podcast series, 95bFM 10, December, 2020
Meet the five change makers shaping Auckland now. Viva Magazine, 30 September 2020
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy of For the Love of Bees- 95bFM, Larsen, Zoe. 23, November 2020
Bee Refugees. Auckland and sanctuary for pollinating insects, Leary, Ben. New Zealand herald. 17th Jan 2020
Meet Sarah Smuts-Kennedy- the woman on a mission to safe the bees. Kerr-Lazenby, Mina. Denizen. 29 July 2019
Going green to beat climate change. Viva Magazine, 26 June 2019
Not just another load of crap. Smuts-Kennedy, Sarah. Stone Soup , 2nd March 2018
Three Shows, Hurrell, John, Eyecontact, 30 June 2017
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy- Kauri and McCahon, Hill, Kim. Radio New Zealand Saturday Morning, 22 July 2017
Postcards: Auckland. McKinnon, Julian. Art news (Auckland N.Z.), vol.37, no.4. Summer 2017. P.56
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy at RM. Hurrel, John. EyeContact 2016,
Exhibitions: Auckland: ‘Soft Architecture’. Hanfling, Edward. Art New 2016.p.47
Postcards: Auckland. McWhannell, Francis. Art news (Auckland N.Z.), vol 36, no.3. Spring 2016. P.54
Art in the Age of ecological emergency. Gardiner, Sue. Art news (Auckland, NZ). Vol.35, no.1. Autumn 2015. P.86-91
Secret art of bees. Knight, Kim. Sunday star times. 29 January 2015. P.5
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy leaves a question of space up hanging, Nelson, Robert. Sydney Morning Herald and The Age Melbourne. 9 June 2014
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy: Field Work. Rule, Dan Sydney Morning Herald and The Age Melbourne. 9 June 2014
Postcards: Auckland. Gardiner, Sue. Art news (Auckland N.Z.), vol.34, no.3. Spring 2014.p56
Collections: Coals from Newcastle. Wiercinski, Diarne. Artlink.vol.33, no.4. 2013. P.1
Working it all out. Cunningham, Daniel Mudie. Australian Art Collector. no.60. April-June, 2012 , p.126-131
Sarah Smuts-Kennedy. Flynn, Paul. Artist Profile. No. 16.2011.p.64-71
Curious Colony: a twenty first century Wunderkammer. Hansen, David. Art Monthly Australia, #233 September 2010
Sunday Arts, ABC Network Australia, 29 March 2009
Artnotes: New Zealand. Gardiner, Sue. Art monthly Summer 2009. P.69
The Kiosk, Physics Room annual. 2008.p.64-67
Art from the old curiosity shop. McNamara, T.J. New Zealand Herald. 4 October 2007.p.World 6
Chasing clouds in Rajasthan: artist Sarah Smuts-Kennedy absorbs the vastness of Indian culture and its dynamic art scene. Smuts-Kennedy, Sarah. Art news (Auckland, N.Z.), vol.26, no.1, Autumn 2006. P.72-74
We can rebuild you.