Peter Gardiner’s Oceania is a new series of epic paintings unfolded like stories of the sea. To be within Oceanica, is to journey through the unknown, navigating mythology and the forces of nature.
The churning of Gardiner’s brushstrokes evokes a force so immense that the viewer can only negotiate with the visual space. Across fatigued paper scrolls, creases add to the complexity of the waves and take away the visual stability of the image plane. Waves and eddies draw you into the ominous waters, while glinting valleys suggest a chance of safe passage through the seas.
To be within Oceanica, is to step into a vast ocean on an old globe. We are left to find our way through the panoramic scenes. The walls echo with generations of stories of storms weathered at sea, as we are brought to a place that feels both imagined and remembered.
Gardiner is a mid-career artist who lives and works in the Hunter. He has exhibited extensively, won the Kilgour Prize in 2016, the Callen Art Prize in 2011, the Muswellbrook Art Prize in 2009 and the Maitland Art Prize in 2003. He has been selected as a Finalist in the Kilgour Prize, the Wynne Prize, the Dobell Prize for Drawing and the Mosman Art Prize. Peter Gardiner’s work is held in important public collections including the Newcastle Regional Gallery, University of Technology Sydney, the Deakin University, Newcastle University, Muswellbrook Regional Art gallery.