Peter Churcher: The First Decade

Published by: Lauraine Diggins Fine Art | 15-Mar-2021
Lauraine Diggins Fine Art held Peter Churcher's first solo exhibition in 1994. Over the years, a number of paintings from the first decade of Peter's career have found their way back to the Gallery and are here offered together in an exhibition that, as a collection, demonstrates Churcher's progress in confidence and skill to an artist at the height of his powers. Paintings include complex large-scale multi-figured works; narratives inspired by classical tales; atmospheric landscapes; with a nod to the European masters found in many of his compositions. Showing at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art (5 Malakoff Street North Caulfield MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA) until 16 April 2021 and preview on our website where you can download the catalogue.
Venue: Lauraine Diggins Fine Art
Address: 5 Malakoff Street North Caulfield Australia
Date: Showing until 16 April 2021
This exhibition brings together a selection of paintings by Peter Churcher from 1992 “ 2004, examining the beginning and following the growth and establishment of his career as an artist. The paintings show his development as he explores his chosen subject “ the human figure “ and his increasing skill in the technical aspects of creating a painting, from composition to applying paint to canvas. Brought together, they allow an assessment of the impressive first decade of Churcher's career: from his initial solo exhibition at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art in 1994; his selection as a finalist in significant national art awards (Archibald: 1996, 1997, 1998; Doug Moran National Portrait Prize: 1996, 1998; Sulman 1998, 2000); an increasing number of portrait commissions; recognition from institutions (acquired by the NGA in 2000); his appointment as an official war artist by the Australian War Memorial (2002); and selection for the artist in residence program at Bundanon, 2001.

Churcher's artistic concern from the outset was the human figure and the human condition. A realist in style, he drew from the world around him “ the actual physical world (of people; landscapes; settings; disparate objects in his studio) and his own sphere of interest, knowledge and experience (of art historical references and influences; the heroic myths of Virgil, Homer, Ovid; and of the power of art, whether music or painting, to evoke emotion).

A growing assurance sees Churcher become less concerned with narrative content and with a greater focus on seeking universal truths. This can be seen in the evolution between The Outcast, with its mysterious cast of characters and iconographic clues, prompting the viewer to fashion a meaning; compared with September 2001. Here, the composition itself provides the narrative tension “ who are these people, why are they posed like that, what is their connection, what is the meaning of it all? It is a confronting and powerful work and provokes the viewer to examine the painting and seek their own meaning and reflection on the human condition.

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