I was drawn to these artworks because of the colour palette and organic shapes. When I learnt that the artist Peter Sharp, a keen surfer, had lived in Paris - after being granted a residency at the Cite' des Arts Internationale several years ago - I had to smile. It's a wonderful image: an Aussie bloke collaborating with French printmakers to make lithographs and etchings. That's not to undersell Peter, who has also exhibited in Germany, as well as Australia's prestigious Wynne and Sulman Prizes. He is exhibiting at Liverpool St Gallery, Sydney, until March 11.
Which five words best describe you? Honest, determined, affable, surfer and artist.
What was your first career job and what path have you taken since? After graduating with a Masters of Fine Art at the University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts (COFA) in 1992, I became a high school art teacher and continued to paint in my spare time. I am now a professional artist, exhibiting with Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney and teaching painting at College of Fine Arts (COFA).
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Enjoy and believe in what you do and the rest will follow.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Making works that still inspire and have the ability to move people.
What was the starting point for this exhibition? A trip to the Louvre Museum in Paris in 2008 where I rediscovered the fragmented hand of the Winged Victory of Samothrace (190 BC). I was struck by how beautiful it was and I wanted to develop a body of work inspired by the lines and forms of the almost fingerless hand. I spent the next year creating a body of paintings, sculptures and monoprints using the silhouettes, shapes and overlapping compositions that were first imaged in the Louvre.
Who inspires you? People who are passionate about what they do from all walks of life. In my work, I am inspired by an Indigenous approach to the landscape where nature is part of you, and you are part of nature.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about art, my family and being outdoors. I love bushwalking and surfing at the beach and I always take a sketchbook wherever I go.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would love to meet Francis Bacon and also Louise Bourgeois.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? In the long term, I want to finish the seven-year renovations on our house, hold a major exhibition of work in a gallery overseas and put together an exhibition that people will never forget even if they tried to!
What are you reading? I just finished Stoked, the autobiography of surfer, Bob McTavish and am currently reading Gerhard Richter’s Biography, The Daily Practice of Painting: Writings 1962-1993.
images courtesy of peter sharp and liverpool st gallery