Balance of the Interior, Michael Peckham’s new show at The Millinery Works, is his thirteenth solo exhibition since his debut at the Bear Lane Gallery in Oxford in 1964. The paintings and collages in this exhibition make direct and indirect reference to the human form and to the body as a zone of concealment and mappable space. These are themes running through several of his recent exhibitions.
Peckham’s first exhibition came soon after he qualified as a doctor. As a cancer specialist, he directed a unit at the forefront of developing curative treatments for Hodgkin’s disease and testicular cancer, work for which he was given a knighthood in 1995. The creative strands in his life of medicine and painting have been mutually reinforcing: his work as a physician has infused his art, while his art has helped him to develop innovative approaches to medical practice.
Currently, he is working on a series of paintings about human traces that draws connections between genetic imprints and fragments of early script recovered in the desert. A preoccupation with human presence converges in this work with a longstanding interest in landscape.