A regular visitor to Venice, Peter has twice been invited as artist in residence to the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, in 2000 and 2004.  While working in Venice he has been especially inspired by the writing of Italo Calvino – who in ‘Invisible Cities’ takes the idea of the city as a document containing all the lines, scratches and stains that are evidence of it’s own movement.  Through both painting and printmaking Peter decided to concern himself with the fragility and intimacy of the environment: the weathered walls, corners and canal-sides; the worn marks and broken down surfaces of the street.

 

Fascinated by Venice the works on canvas and text in ‘Passaggio’ take their inspiration directly from the city, from its walls, from its graffiti, from its shimmering canals, even from the tracks that the water leaves on its monuments.

The interwoven structure of his work combines painting with text as well as passages of writing which record time spent in Venice merge with colour and content to suggest the fabric of the city: its frescoes and mosaics, its glimmering buildings and their gilded interiors. 

 

   ‘In Venice the problem is perhaps that there is too much to work from. It is both a city in peril and a city in decay,  

  but its fragility only adds to the beauty. It offers a perfect metaphor for one’s own vulnerability.’


The experience of showing work in Venice, especially his recent exhibition at Palazzo Albrizzi organised by the Goethe Institute has highlighted other literary influences.

  

  ‘During the Venice Bienniale I was able to visit Palazzo Barbaro where Henry James had stayed while writing ‘Wings of the Dove’, a novel that had a great influence on me.’


Peter uses vibrant and bold colours, iridescent pinks, reds, blues with silver, gold and intense black sometimes half conceal barely visible pieces of text: mementos of notes scribbled, written words, maps, lists, diagrams, poems, observations and personal pocketed scraps from his travels, to explore and interpret the sense of place, capturing the past and bringing it firmly into the present.


The publication ‘Passaggio’(2005) accompanying this show, follows the development of Peter’s work over the last three years through his poetry, painting, etching and photography.  


  ‘I especially like the Italian word ‘passaggio’, as it implies a crossing, a passage or journey – for me perhaps between making work at home in the UK  as well as in Italy, between writing and painting, between being very young and being very old.  Much of our life is about dealing with transition. It seems important to try and filter these experiences through the corridors of the imagination.’   


Peter uses vibrant and bold colours, iridescent pinks, reds, blues with silver, gold and intense black sometimes half conceal barely visible pieces of text: mementos of notes scribbled, written words, maps, lists, diagrams, poems, observations and personal pocketed scraps from his travels, to explore and interpret the sense of place, capturing the past and bringing it firmly into the present.


The publication ‘Passaggio’(2005) accompanying this show, follows the development of Peter’s work over the last three years through his poetry, painting, etching and photography.  


  ‘I especially like the Italian word ‘passaggio’, as it implies a crossing, a passage or journey – for me perhaps between making work at home in the UK  as well as in Italy, between writing and painting, between being very young and being very old.  Much of our life is about dealing with transition. It seems important to try and filter these experiences through the corridors of the imagination.’   

PETER GILLIES Curriculum Vitae


1954 Born in Luton Bedfordshire


1988 graduated Nottingham Trent University MA  Fine Art


1988 – 2005 lived in Sheffield, studio at Yorkshire Artspace (largest purpose built

                                     Artist studios in Europe)                                                                                     


1998 – 2003 Lecturer in painting at University of Leeds


2000 + 2004 Artist in Residence at the Scuola Internationale Di Grafica, Venice


2003 + 2005 Major awards (individual artist) from Arts Council England


2003/4 Exhibitions at    PM.Gallery London,

                                      Palazzo Albrizzi, Venice

                                      Zeitkunst Gallerie, Halle, Germany


2005/6 Moves to Cornwall, Falmouth


PETER GILLIES - ‘Passaggio’