A selection of Peter’s original artwork are for sale in his online shop. View all art for sale here »
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Peter first started painting in 2003 as art therapy, to help him overcome Post Traumatic Stress following abuse at a care facility, but over the years he has evolved into an accomplished artist in his own right.
Since then, Peter has held quite a few exhibitions and sold pieces throughout Australia and overseas. The high point was his solo exhibition at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre, which ran from November 2013 to January 2014.
Read a letter from the gallery curator, Cathy Money.
Read the Exhibition Comments Book
The evolution of Peter’s art over the years is symbolic of his transition out of darkness, confusion and fear, with his more recent works capturing the colour and light of his new found enjoyment of life. In spite of a lack of formal training, many of Peter’s earlier paintings show his natural flair with colour, but for a long time he still continued to include faces in these paintings, which were symbolic of his abusers from the past. Most of Peter’s first paintings expressed his feelings and fears from that dark time in his life.
“In many ways my art and my writing have given me a voice to speak with; they have allowed me to express my thoughts, dreams and experiences and given me a way to communicate my feelings and share my heart,” says Peter.
But whether deep with meaning or simple and quirky, the bright colours and abstract style of Peter’s paintings have proved increasingly popular.
Major Supporter – Art From The Margins
Since 2010 Peter has been working closely with Art from the Margins (AFTM) – a creative initiative of Wesley Mission Brisbane. Their goal is to create an artistic outlet for artists who are homeless, living with a mental illness or physical disability, or who are challenged by similar adverse circumstances.
In September 2010 Peter won the Fulton Trotter Major Award at the Art From The Margins (AFTM) Exhibition, which was part of the Brisbane Festival. AFTM also acquired Peter’s three paintings “Doorway series 1-2-3” for their touring collection.
In 2012 this art collection was on display at the Brisbane Square Library from mid-May to July 8th. During this time Peter was honoured to be the ‘featured artist’ with a selection of his art, sculptures and books on display. His Josh the Robot books were also featured during the regular Saturday morning children’s book readings on two separate occasions.
Peter’s artistic abilities have not been confined to acrylic on canvas. He has illustrated all seven of his children’s books and for the most recent, the Josh the Robot series, he worked collaboratively with a graphic designer to create their vibrant and eye-catching illustrations.
New Artistic Direction
From mid-2011 Peter started working with a new art teacher, Cheryl Nonmus, who runs the Paintbox Art School in Buderim and is also a professional photographer.
While helping to expand Peter’s existing painting skills and collection of artworks, Cheryl has also introduced him to various new media – pottery, constructional sculpture and soft pastel drawing – and is helping him work with different materials and understand the various techniques and processes involved.
Peter: “I love being able to work with any new idea and being able to try something else. Cheryl has taught me to do things with brushes and sponges and all these different implements. It has been an eye-opener to see what can be done and I love the results she gets with me. I could not do it before because I did not know how. But now I am learning how and it makes a big difference to my love of painting.
Peter’s painting style is quite eclectic and is often indicative of his sharp and witty sense of humour. For example, the 9-painting montage he entitled “the Last Stand” … because he didn’t think he could ever paint another like it. And each of the three large “Doorway” paintings are made up of 12 separate smaller paintings of different ‘quirky’ characters.