The Valley & Tableaux Exhibition – 11-23 October 2016


Paintings of the Capertee Valley from the air and small bronze sculptures of psychological associations and anomalies.

“It is with much pleasure that we have the privilege to exhibit these recent paintings and sculptures by Peter Day. Significantly known for his large public installations, these smaller works exemplify the wide range of ideas and understanding of execution that he has applied to his lengthy established professional practice.”

Maureen Cahill AM

PETER DAY is often doing two things at the same time: large scale public art and smaller scale private art. He explains that: “Doing both suits me well, I get socialization in the public realm and seclusion in the studio.” Day has spent most of the last couple of years concentrating on public work with all the concomitant administration and politics. He has just completed 4 major works in the City of Parramatta, 3 huge stainless-steel sculptures and a terrazzo and ceramic seating ensemble. Day says: “It’s a relief to concentrate on smaller less demanding and relatively less responsible work, after the big stuff”.

The public art is usually large, communal and robust while the private is personal, self-contained, small and intimate. Although Day creates in both public and private realms the core of his work remains centred around the planet and its natural environment. His practice expresses his time spent creating images that promote contemplation, and subsequent consideration about how we live in and on this diminishing resource.

A Christmas present of a helicopter flight over the Capertee Valley opened Peter Days eyes to the “John Olsen” way of seeing, looking down and across. A shift in perspective was liberating and it fitted with his penchant to abstract. Day combines the painting experience with computerized designed abstraction.

His paintings are a celebration of real places created with digital assistance and a painstaking manipulation in the selection/design/composition process. In painting the landscape, he uses the process as a vehicle for meditating and pondering on the human condition. Painting is a means of being with his concerns and expressing them in a non-verbal manner. Day utilises only the language of the paint visual allusions, and insinuations in the combination of colour, form, texture and space through meditation, trial and error, whimsy and luck.

Day’s sculptures depict real things in mostly unreal situations. The earlier pieces are more like actual scenarios, being very influenced by the Greetings series of his works made for Stocklands Shopping Mall at Merrylands. These convey more personal situations and rituals, but the newer works are more outwardly focused and emanate from random thoughts and associations, dreams and flashes of inspiration that are a new development in the practice.

The usage of the casting of real objects with only small modifications is taking the idea of the ‘ready-made’ one stage further, in transposing the media one is emphasizing the formal qualities of the object in many cases its use, and demanding it be seen as sculpture. This is also part of the process of Day’s accepting the ‘ready-made’ as a sculpture in its own right. The action of committing the not inconsiderable resources to the idea of the sculpture displays a strong personal belief in his intuitive creative process.

Both the paintings and sculpture of this new offering by Peter Day exhibit the qualities we have come to expect of this highly original artist i.e., technical expertise and innovation, visual invention, exceptional sense of colour and a combination of 2D and 3D images …. not to mention … entertainment!