Macaulay, Peter

Abstract painting by Peter Macaulay

Associate Member


Pictures have a double reality being both the thing they represent and the thing they are. Simultaneously presenting an idea as an image and the image as a thing itself. The resolution of an idea more important than the completion of a particular picture. The unfinished yet resolved state often more compelling than a demonstration of technique or style.

Inspired not only by Roger Hilton and Francis Bacon but also the unlikely reference to 5th century Graeco –  Roman damaged sculpture. There’s reference to theatre, circus and cinema. An example the 1948 film ‘The Snake Pit’ exploring the horrors of a mental institution. One of a few works with a narrative and title ‘The Municipal Snake Pit’ brings together the almost hopeless staircase reference in ‘Kidnapped’ the Robert Louis Stevenson classic period novel and a vast municipal swimming pool. Together seemingly unrelated strands make on coherent whole, being both Snow White and the Ugly Sisters … something familiar but not quite right.

Work of ever growing ambition and scope, intentionality jarring juxtaposition of image and approach. What at first may seem clear eventually reveals an absurdity like for example a red figure diving put of a red pool.

Despite the often irreverent and unconventional use of materials … house paint, tea, acrylic, oil thrown together at a canvas colours sing. And even with such free flowing lines, describing part figures with missing or additional limbs and other body parts there is a solid geometry in the work. Above all there is a tremendous sense of ‘joie de vivre’ and at times an almost hilarious wit.