work / SELECTED PAINTINGS 1990 - 2005



Peter Atkins - Readymade Abstraction

The conceptual premise of my painting practice over the past twenty five years has been underpinned by the appropriation of readymade abstract forms and designs that exist in the urban environment. From street signage, outdoor advertising, product packaging, book and record covers, store packaging, patterns on trucks and the angular designs from the sides of caravans. I consider anything and everything as possible reference for my work as I navigate the landscape. Stripped from their original context these elements are elevated from their often prosaic states and become an examination of the overlooked. I first became interested in abstraction through the work of Ian Fairweather, Tony Tuckson, Grace Crowley and Ralph Balson when I was studying at the National Art School in Sydney. This led to an interest in Oceanic Art and textiles, Outsider Art, Folk Art and Quiltmaking, particularly early Amish quilts and the quilts from Gees Bend in the U.S.A. I'm particularly attracted to that imperfect homemade or handmade aesthetic. This is reflected in the type of material I choose as the support surface for my own paintings, often simple plywood, old painters drop sheets or used tarpaulins. I am interested in the cultural associations of particular forms or groups of forms that can trigger memory, nostalgia or a shared history of past experiences. My practice resides in a place between abstraction and representation. The reference forms help clarify this middle ground by providing a link back to the real world. My paintings are an amalgamation of Modernisms colour theory and predominant use of pure form, Pop Arts relationship to the experience of the everyday, Conceptual Arts existential philosophy of the self and identity in society as well as Post Modernisms appropriation of all that has gone before. There are also aspects of Altermodernism that appeal to me as defined by the French curator Nicholas Bourriaud such as 'cultural connectivity' and 'hybridisation' - the mash-up and remixing of existing visual languages. What he describes as 'a new modernity based on translations' for artists 'wandering in time, space and mediums'. An art based metatheory relevant to the 21st century -- an attempt to disseminate through experience the overloading of material and visual data in an age of constant connectivity and accessibility. "Altermodernity," Bourriaud continues, "arises out of negotiations between different agents from different cultures and geographical locations." Artists, by this reckoning, have become like cultural nomads, a mobile community of outsiders within a vast globalised society.




The video below includes an extensive catalogue of past work and also includes numerous studio and gallery installation images. For optimal display of this video please ensure that your youtube settings are set to 1080p (small 'cog' icon located bottom right of the youtube screen).



William Scott's Pan Form 2005 by Peter Atkins

William Scott's Pan Form  2005

Mist 2005 by Peter Atkins

Mist  2005

Big Footprint 2005 by Peter Atkins

Big Footprint  2005

Toe Separator 2005 by Peter Atkins

Toe Separator  2005

Paperform 2005 by Peter Atkins

Paperform  2005

Mickey's Ear 2005 by Peter Atkins

Mickey's Ear  2005

Mickey Stirrer 2004 by Peter Atkins

Mickey Stirrer  2004

Tag 2004 by Peter Atkins

Tag  2004

Paperform 2003 by Peter Atkins

Paperform  2003

Paperform No 3 2003 by Peter Atkins

Paperform No 3  2003

Glass Black Red Green Blue 2001 by Peter Atkins

Glass Black Red Green Blue  2001

Glass 2001 by Peter Atkins

Glass  2001

Saucer No 2 2000 by Peter Atkins

Saucer No 2  2000

Plate No 2 2000 by Peter Atkins

Plate No 2  2000

Glass - Red on Black (Russell Wright Form) 1999 by Peter Atkins

Glass - Red on Black (Russell Wright Form)  1999

Maija Isola's 'Melooni' Form c1963 1998 by Peter Atkins

Maija Isola's 'Melooni' Form c1963  1998

Glass Group 1998 by Peter Atkins

Glass Group  1998

Television Screen/Pendant Form 2007 by Peter Atkins

Television Screen/Pendant Form  2007

Buckle 1997 by Peter Atkins

Buckle  1997

Toe Separator 1997 by Peter Atkins

Toe Separator  1997

Plate 1997 by Peter Atkins

Plate  1997

Flask 1997 by Peter Atkins

Flask  1997

Net Mesh 1996 by Peter Atkins

Net Mesh  1996

Gourd 1996 by Peter Atkins

Gourd  1996

Buckle 1996 by Peter Atkins

Buckle  1996

Arrow Notch 1996 by Peter Atkins

Arrow Notch  1996

Asterix 1995 by Peter Atkins

Asterix  1995

Susie Cooper's Harlequinade Pattern 1995 by Peter Atkins

Susie Cooper's Harlequinade Pattern  1995

Susie Cooper's Diablo Pattern 1995 by Peter Atkins

Susie Cooper's Diablo Pattern  1995

Susie Cooper's Pennant Pattern 1995 by Peter Atkins

Susie Cooper's Pennant Pattern  1995

Leaf Pattern 1994 by Peter Atkins

Leaf Pattern  1994

Gate 1994 by Peter Atkins

Gate  1994

E3 1994 by Peter Atkins

E3  1994

No2 Pattern 1994 by Peter Atkins

No2 Pattern  1994

Katab (head pattern) 1993 by Peter Atkins

Katab (head pattern)  1993

Katab (flower and spot pattern) 1993 by Peter Atkins

Katab (flower and spot pattern)  1993

A Painting For Bill Traylor 1992 by Peter Atkins

A Painting For Bill Traylor  1992

Quilt 1992 by Peter Atkins

Quilt  1992

Sacred vessels 1992 by Peter Atkins

Sacred vessels  1992

Swiss Landscape 1990 by Peter Atkins

Swiss Landscape  1990