In 2005 Peter Archer moved to Wales after twenty years or more of living and working in Cornwall and began work on a series of seascape paintings that have since become the central theme of his practice. Notes from an Inland Sea will be the first major exhibition of these works in London.
In these new paintings the pastoral landscapes of the Tamar Valley have been replaced with water; the water of rivers and of the sea. The tonal range is narrow, colours sombre, forms implied through misty atmospheres and although the emotional weight may be concealed for a while by the play of light on water, the dominant force is deeply melancholic.
These are not paintings that record specific places or report on actual events in the world. They are imagined places that appear slowly through a process of layering and building up of the surface to finally emerge as a convincing but fictional world; a world over which the artist has almost total control, preconceived and ordered to create the illusion of reality. He has written that ‘The Sea in my mind and in the paintings is for me much more interesting than the reality.’ Underpinned by a symbolic use of light that is firmly in the Northern European tradition they are a fascinating and mysterious vision of somebody’s inner world. A journey into the imagination through landscape.
Peter Archer (b. Stockport 1946) trained at Goldsmith’s School of Art (1965-68). He has exhibited regularly in London, Europe and has had two exhibitions in New York. He was shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize (2001) and has work in the permanent collections of the Royal Academy, Arts Council and the University of Utrecht along with private and corporate collections in the UK, Europe and USA.
A catalogue is available with 11 full colour plates and essay by Michael Williams which can be viewed on line at:
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