Peter Davis lives and paints in Shetland, where the two extremes of stillness and flow, and the myriad activity between the two, are the defining elements of the Northern landscape. Peter does not simply record what he sees. Instead he prefers the uncertain balance between abstraction and reality. He considers watercolour to be the most natural of all the painting mediums, as watercolour plays by nature’s rules; it obeys gravity, in most cases, flows, puddles, desiccates, and finally dries.
Art critic Duncan MacMillan commented about Peter’s work: ‘Composed of transparent veils of colour against white paper [...] it also beautifully exploits the unique qualities of watercolour. But, as the way the painter has used the white paper shows, watercolour is not just paint. Much more than with oil painting the support, paper, is integral to the finished image.'
In January-February 2020 Peter will show a new body of work, primarily focusing on the effects of weather and the local words from the Northern Isles used to describe it. Peter shared: 'Recently I discovered a book of weather words of Orkney and Shetland and became intrigued by the almost visually descriptive language found in the Northern Isles. Where, it is said, the Inuit have a hundred words for snow, the Shetlanders have an equal number for wind and rain! These words have begun to inform my paintings. Again I have employed expressive effects including the use of pipettes, scrubbing brushes, airbrush and sandpaper as well as liberal use of gouache and dry chalk.'
It will be a fascinating talk to learn more about Peter's techniques and inspiration as he comes back to the gallery after a very successful exhibition in January 2019.
Peter will be joined by a poet Christine de Luca, who writes in English and Shetlandic dialect and will read a few poems.
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