Statement – Sepik Journey II

Exhibition installation

Exhibition installation

“It is quite remarkable that Peter’s exhibition was painted as an ‘in-between’ space. In the unfolding drama of some art ‘lost in transit’ from Papua New Guinea and other work painted whilst back in Australia, there is a wonderful perspective of both distance and closeness. Sure the concept is resonant, but the subtle differences allow expression for the experience of the immediate and the stance.  The on-site work draws on a palette of colours that are less vivid, yet when painted from a geographical distance the colours are more arresting catching the attention of the viewer.  I wonder what this says about the sense of presence within the work as Peter is immersed in the landscape, compared with our response as we withdraw, ponder, and allow a larger palette of our experience to shape us.

What is striking is that the art forms a dialogue with the landscape.  Peter’s experience of the landscape finds its expression in the meandering of the Sepik River and the striking colour.  At first glance the viewer sees a coherent exhibition of colour and form. But as one moves closer, the work is intimate, revealing subtle colours and a wide palette.  Such detail evokes response, drawing one into the meandering Sepik, inviting us to connect with the landscape too.  There is something thrilling about the work that expresses both energy and movement.  Interestingly, as the art captures a scene on canvas, the river meanders on, exiting the canvas and inviting us to follow.

I wonder where this great river will lead us.”

Anne Mallaby
Chapel on Station Gallery
14 August 2013

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