Cooroy exhibition bannerPeter was very excited to hold his first solo* exhibition at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre on the Sunshine Coast, from November 2013 to January 2014.

The official opening on 3rd December 2013 coincided with International Day of People With A Disability, which this year had the theme of “Breaking Barriers and Opening Doors” – very appropriate, because three of Peter’s major works in the exhibition were paintings on doors.

with Ross Barber

With long-time art mentor and friend, Ross Barber

The exhibition was officially opened by Independent MP, Peter Wellington. Guest speaker was celebrated local disabled artist Ross Barber, who first inspired Peter to paint at a workshop at the Butter Factory a decade earlier.

with Peter Wellington

Peter was happy to show MP Peter Wellington one of his very popular door paintings

Ian A. painting

Art From The Margins’ convenor, Dr Ian Airey, also came to pay tribute to Peter and his art, and was happy to try his hand on the communal door-painting project

To recognize the significance of the day and the amazing capabilities of the disabled, the gallery held a day of acitivities including a communal art project (painting on a door) and promotional displays by Sunshine Coast Disability organisations and service providers.

Besides his extraordinary (and popular) door paintings, much of Peter’s art in the exhibition had a very strong musical theme, featuring collages with sheet music and various instruments, especially guitars.

pink owl

“Happy Owl in Happy Times”

tango guitar

“Tango guitar for Marcia”

Cooroy #24

“Trees & Moon Through My Windows”

View all the art from the exhibition …

“The many themes that we have been exploring for these new artworks have been influenced by Peter’s interests and his family members,” says Peter’s art teacher, Cheryl Nonmus.

“He loves to listen to music, whether it is to sing along and be upbeat, or to listen to a calm melody at night to go to sleep. So the piano, guitar and violins have been the main instruments used for the shapes.”


The first painting Peter did on a door. He’s done three so far, and two of them sold at the exhibition’s Opening Night

In preparation for Peter’s portfolio of artworks for the exhibition, Cheryl made templates for the musical instruments in all different sizes and shapes, which could be used for repetition.

The three doors that feature in the exhibition have been an exciting venture for Peter, who hadn’t worked on such large surface areas before. Working on these projects, Cheryl was also able to introduce Peter to some exciting new techniques, materials and applications.

For example, in each lesson she had Peter layering paint onto the door’s surface, then using a sander to peel back the layers so the result is an abstract medley of colours, which could then be drawn onto.
“We collaged music sheets onto many surfaces,” says Cheryl, “then Peter worked the colours onto those.”

Other new techniques included the use of Gold Leaf ripped and glued on, using inks and delicate pen work, ripped paper collage, spray paint through grids (to get the square shapes), cutting shapes from Peter’s drawings and gluing them onto a new landscape background.

During and leading up to the exhibition launch event, Peter was filmed by Caron Menashe for a documentary for the Anti-Discrimination Commission, Queensland.

filming for documentary

Peter, with mum Betty, being filmed by Caron Menashe, ADCQ Community Relations Officer at the Butter Factory Arts Centre, Cooroy

Watch the video on YouTube
Watch the video on VIMEO

View more pictures from the exhibition launch event…

Media coverage:
• SC Galleries exhibition flyer
• SC Council website
• Noosa Independent
• Sunshine Coast Daily
• Noosa Style Living magazine
• Access Arts website

*Peter has had two major exhibitions at the Maroochydore Library, has displayed his work in Brisbane Square Library and various cafes, and has exhibited with others at the Caloundra Regional Gallery, but this was the first time he was able to have a solo exhibition in a major art gallery.