Kingsley Baird, Professor of Fine Arts

Kingsley Baird, Professor of Fine Arts

Research coordinator, Whiti o Rehua School of Art

Professor Kingsley Baird is an artist and writer whose primary research platform is memory and memorialisation. His sustained investigation of these fields is undertaken through the design of commissioned public memorials such as the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (New Zealand, 2004) and The Cloak of Peace (Japan, 2006); making artefacts that investigate new conceptual, aesthetic, and material ways of creating memory forms; and published textual outputs. Baird’s teaching contribution ranges from 100-level papers to PhD supervision.

  • Expertise

    Memory and remembrance; cross-cultural memorialisation; spirit of place; remembrance and national identity; visual and material culture; public art; commissioned public memorials and artefacts; leading or participating in international and national interdisciplinary public art and design research teams and projects; leading and contributing to international and multidisciplinary memory fora (research networks, conferences, publications).

    View Kingsley Baird's expertise directory profile.

  • Research Highlights

    Tomb (2013), Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne, France
    A temporary art installation created whilst artist-in-residence at France's leading World War I museum. Approximately 18,000 soldier-shaped biscuits were stacked in the form of the Stone of Remembrance 'altar' designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and found in Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries. The sculpture explores the 'consumption' of martial sacrifice in conflict, national identities, and the materiality and ephemerality of memory.

    In memoriam: The present and the absent (2013)
    An essay in the Tomb exhibition catalogue reflecting upon and contextualising Kingsley Baird’s artwork at the Historial de la Grande Guerre. Tomb is a ‘New Memorial Forms’ project, in which the artist critiques orthodox notions of a 'memorial' by challenging fixity of meaning and conventional perceptions of physical permanence. Other catalogue contributors are leading World War I historians Jay Winter and Annette Becker, who write about Tomb in the context of an international discourse of remembrance.

    Patterns of ambivalence: The space between memory
 and form (2011), book chapter in Rhetoric, Remembrance, and Visual Form: Sighting Memory (Routledge)
    The chapter discusses the role of artist, viewer, and site in the construction of meaning in relation to The Cloak of Peace (2006), Kingsley Baird’s commissioned sculpture in Nagasaki Peace Park, Japan.

    Serve: a new recipe for sacrifice (2010), National Army Museum,
 New Zealand
    Serve comprised two works, Picnic and Serve, exploring and conflating secular and spiritual themes including military sacrifice and remembrance rituals in the context of national (Anzac) mythology and identity, and individual and collective remembrance and redemption.

  • Qualifications

    Certificate of Tertiary Teaching (Wellington Polytechnic)
    Diploma of Art (Victoria University of Wellington)
    MFA (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)

  • Professional Affiliations

    War History Heritage Art and Memory Research Network (WHAM) (chair)
    The Memory Waka Research Group (chair)

  • Supervision

    Liang Cui
    A Study of ‘the Unqualified’ in the Practice of Painting in a Contemporary Context


    Primary supervisor: Prof. Kingsely Baird
    Co-supervisor: Dr. Marcus Moore


    David Guerin
    Dear Lovies and Dearies


    Primary supervisor: Prof. Sally Morgan
    Co-supervisor: Prof. Kingsley Baird


    Jessica Richards
    Writing in Tongues: Performing the unique narrative voice as contemporary folk tale.


    Primary supervisor: Prof. Tim Brennan
    Co-supervisor: Prof. Kingsley Baird