Acclaimed as Australia’s pre-eminent sculptor in marble of the human figure, Peter Schipperheyn has traveled annually to the marble quarries of Carrara Italy, since being awarded an Italian government scholarship in 1979.
Largely self taught he has dedicated himself to mastering the difficult medium of carving marble.
In 1989 Mr. Edmund Capon. [Director, Art Gallery of N.S.W] wrote the following about the sculpture of Peter Schipperheyn
"In the annals and history of Australian art, sculpture has forever taken second place to the art of painting. It is a fact that the landscape has been the source of eternal inspiration for the Australian artist, and painting is the medium for the expression of the landscape theme in art. The figurative traditions, the ultimate source of inspiration for Western sculpture, have therefore received essentially scant attention in Australia.
Peter Schipperheyn is one of the rare exceptions to that rule. His art and vision is wholly inspired by the great figurative traditions in Western art: his delicate drawings reflect an extraordinary sensitivity for the human figure, whilst his majestic marble sculptures are expressions of the grandeur and vision that aspire to the greatest European traditions. He is currently unique in Australia; no other living Australian artist has so totally dedicated himself to seeking a truly contemporary expression of Western arts most inspired tradition.
Peter Schipperheyn’s work expresses hope, sensitivity, classicism, contemporaneity: it shows above all that the fundamental concerns and emotions of mankind, like great art, transcend time."
Edmund Capon, Director Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1955 · Born Melbourne, Australia.
1975 · Started training in painting and drawing at Caulfield Institute of Technology.
1976 · Traveled to Europe. Lived in Rome for nine months. Attended Academia di Belle Arti, Roma.
1978 · Graduated with Diploma of Fine Art from Caulfield Institute of Technology Awarded Abercrombie Sculpture Prize for a commission for monumental sculpture "Senility". Awarded Camberwell Rotary Prize for Painting. H.F.C. Drawing Prize. Dandenong Festival Drawing Prize.
1979 · Installed "Senility" at Abercrombie Galleries. Size: 7 meters high. Medium: Fiberglass, timber and steel.· Awarded Italian Government Scholarship to study marble carving. Studied for one year at Academia di Belle Arti, Carrara, Italy.· Invited to exhibit at Caulfield City Council Exhibition of Victorian Sculptors.
1980 · Returned to Australia bringing marble and bronze works executed in Italy for a one-man show at Australian Galleries in Melbourne, Australia.
AWARDS, PRIZES COMMISSIONS [Many of these works can be seen in the Gallery]
1978 Awarded, Camberwell Rotary Prize for Painting>
H.F.C. Drawing Prize
Dandenong Festival Drawing Prize Abercrombie Sculpture Prize, Commission for Monumental sculpture "Senility" later renamed "The grip of time"
1979 Awarded Italian Government scholarship
1981 Commission for "S..HE" monumental work in marble
Commissioned to carve a "Madonna" for Carmelite Order, Melbourne
1983 Awarded Individual Artist Development Grant from the Victorian Ministry for the Arts
Commissioned by Jack Chia "Mother and child" monumental work for No. 1 Collins Street, Melbourne
Commissioned by Carlton & United Breweries to do a sculpture "Clydesdale horse" for the Victorian State Theatre Building, Melbourne
Commission; Returned Service League for a 3 meter high sculpture for the Alfred Square, St Kilda.
1987 Commission; Sydney City Council, to create a commemorative work for Dame Joan Sutherland's 60th Birthday to be located in the Sydney Town Hall Commission "Asleep" grave piece for the late Laurie Matheson at Mt. Macedon Cemetery
Commission; monumental work with assistance from Mr. Ken Myer "Paura del' intimita" for the Moree Plains Gallery, N.S.W.
1989 Commission for St Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane of a new Baptismal Font for the Baptistery
1990 Commission portrait of Mr. Bruno Grollo in marble, Melbourne
1991 Commission portrait of Sir Eric Westbrook for the National Gallery of Victoria>
1992 Awarded Wynne Prize, winning works (two colossal heads in marble purchased for collection of Art Gallery of New South Wales.
1993 Commission Portrait of Patrick White, Noble Prize laureate. Portrait Commission, Australian of the Year for National Australia Day Council
1994 Commenced monumental work "Figure Femminile".Commission "Our Lady Sculpture" Notre Dame University Fremantle
1994-96 "Stations of the Cross" fourteen relief panels in bronze Notre Dame University, Fremantle.
1996 Relief Panels in fiberglass executed for Village Roadshow for cinema complex’s in Singapore, Jam Factory, and Melbourne Casino.
1996 "Processional Cross"-for the Chapel at Notre Dame University, Fremantle.
1997 Carved panels for the new altar, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne. Life size bronze of Phyllis M Gration, and her dog "Lady Nell" founder of the Lady Nell Seeing Eye Dog School.
1998 "Eternal Flame" sculpture in black granite for the Holocaust Centre,Melbourne "Peter Pan" sculpture in bronze, private commission, Rockhampton, Queensland.
1999 St Patricks Cathedral Commissioned to carve inscriptions and "Paschal Lamb" for the Cathedral Walk. Completed series of Private Commissions
2000 "Male Figure with Mask of Tragedy", "Female Figure with Mask of Comedy" colossal figures for Westin Hotel City Square Melbourne. "Madonna and Child" Lifesize bronze figures, Commissioned Whitefriars College. "Madonna and Child" Commission for Australian Catholic University Melbourne. Grave Piece for G. Powell Commissioned and installed Sringvale Cemetery.
2002 "Madonna and Child" sculpture in Carrara Marble commissioned by the Australian Catholic University for the Chapel
2004-6 Monumantal bronze "Thus Spake Zarathustra" commissioned by the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Sculpture Foundation