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PETER NEILSON Pretty Delicate 29 May - 17 June 2018



Peter Neilson works in three disciplines - drawing, painting, and more recently, sculpture - and he sees each of the three avenues of expression as having decidedly distinct characteristics. as a young high school student he drew frequently, encouraged by his perceptive art teacher, the artist, Ron upton. His more formal art training began at RMIT where he majored in painting, but also attended classes in sculpture with Lenton Parr and the more conservative George allen. Quite early on he established a reputation as a painter; his development as a sculptor is a much more recent occurrence. It is a revelation to learn that his large-scale, highly complex paintings, which usually contain a wide range of images, are not planned. ‘I start with something, then try to link the various images, advancing along a series of frissons, strong feelings of excitement, a series of feelings. I stay with the feelings that seem right within the frame. When I think all the parts are in place, I put the canvas away for two or three months, look again and tighten it up.’ Not preplanned, yet, in spite of their complexities, eventually appearing highly organized. When Neilson states, ‘I got to the point where I could draw anything,’ it almost sounds like an extravagant boast but, in fact, it is purely a statement of fact. His series of exhibitions of drawings at australian Galleries, each devoted to a separate group of objects, convincingly proves the claim: kitchen implements, children’s toys, musical instruments, hand tools and, more recently, landscape are all drawn and handled with phenomenal skill. Currently he is enjoying a new departure: plein-air drawing rather than studio drawing. as he says, ‘When working in the open air one is aware of time passing, whereas in a studio the drawing is static, frozen in time.’ He adds that he is ‘not so much trying to record, but to create... a drawing must involve

the charcoal and the paper, it must be sympathetic to the materials.’ and it is largely this interest in the materials that has lead him to his more recent fascination with sculpture; in a sense it has evolved from simply ‘observing the material and taking inspiration from the material.’ For instance, when he cut a very thin line of paper from a large sheet, he noticed, to his delight, that the long line ended in an elegant curve. So he mounted the thin strip of paper on a small block and in the process, it became a graceful, minimal sculpture. On another occasion he cut across a tightly rolled bundle of paper and found that he had a vast and intriguing collection of curved lines of paper. The resultant sculpture is wonderfully and extraordinarily complex. as with his paintings, Neilson has no preconceived design in mind; the materials dictate the forms. It is his highly observant nature that alerts him to the possibilities of chance and it is this quality that, to a great extent, contributes to the uniqueness of his sculpture. Though his excursion into three-dimensional pieces dates only from 2016, Neilson has produced over 50 imaginatively diverse sculptures, and what is more, he has hand-built a beautifully crafted white box for each work. These boxes double as a small plinth for the display of the sculpture and as a protective enclosure for the fragile object. Some astute collectors may see the possibility of a work being fabricated in stainless steel or cast in bronze and recognize this as just another material. Others may accept life’s transience and celebrate the impermanence of all things. all quotes are from a discussion with the artist 7/2/2018. Ken Scarlett OaM, 2018


Invites you to the opening

PETER NEILSON Pretty Delicate Tuesday 29 May 2018 6pm to 8pm 35 Derby Street Collingwood VIC 3066 Current until Sunday 17 June 2018 Open 7 days 10am to 6pm T 03 9417 4303 Member art Galleries association of australia

Front: Untitled (Surge) 2016 cardboard, glue, paper, paint 21 x 14.5 x 18 cm Right: Untitled 2016 wood, cardboard, glue 24 x 10 x 11 cm

Untitled 2017 cardboard, glue, paint 20 x 58 x 9 cm

The little forest 2011-13 cardboard, glue, plants 12 x 15.5 x 8 cm

The unfinished fact (detail) 2017-18 oil on linen 150 x 300 cm

Peter Neilson 2018  
Peter Neilson 2018