Kingsley Baird is a visual artist, writer, and professor of fine arts at Massey University, New Zealand. His work investigates memory, memorialisation, and remembrance through the design of national memorials such as the New Zealand Memorial in Canberra, Australia (2001, with Studio of Pacific Architecture), the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Wellington, New Zealand (2004) and The Cloak of Peace in Nagasaki, Japan (2006); and through temporary installations in international residencies and solo exhibitions. The latter have been undertaken at Belgium’s In Flanders Fields Museum (Ieper, Diary Dagboek, 2007), Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne, France (Tomb, 2013); and Militärhistorisches Museum, Dresden, Germany (Stela, 2014). These residency works examined orthodox notions of a ‘memorial’ by challenging national identity narratives and fixity of meaning and conventional perceptions of permanence through the use of ephemeral materials and temporary installations. Developing out of the Heartlands Project artist consultancy, a new body of work concerned with memory and place resulted in an international commission (Reflections, Cornwall, UK, 2012).
Kingsley is the chair of The Memory Waka, a memory network partnering with Syracuse University and general editor of the network’s Memory Connection online journals, and chair of the WHAM (War History Heritage Art and Memory) Research Network.