For more extensive artist's bio, articles and list of exhibitions, visit artist(s) website(s). Many of the images displayed on this site are copyrighted, and are used here only for purposes of education or critical review. All rights are reserved by the artists who created the works referenced herein.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Peter Rippon

Peter Rippon

I am an artist living in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. I have a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from the Durban University of Technology.

My primary area of expertise is oil painting. You can read my general artist statement below, and some of the works displayed on this site have accompanying artist statements.

In my still life paintings I explore the idea of collecting, preserving, and presenting objects. Sometimes they are more about the study of the objects than the objects themselves, an attempt to make sense of the world by the exploration of its physical elements.

In my portraits I simply wish to portray a quiet and tender humanity. My still life paintings, in the absence of a human subject, speak more about humanity than the portraits, because they deal with the traces we leave behind, the silence when we've left the room. They show the means by which we try to understand the world we find ourselves in: through science and observable evidence; through mythology and religion; by our great art, literature, music, and other cultural artefacts; and in our interaction (and interference) with the natural world.

I enclose my subject matter within the picture plane in recessed spaces, which suggests that the subject depicted is actually situated in the viewer's perceptual field. This heightens the immediacy and intimacy of the painting, stripping away the safety barrier between the viewer and the subject matter. The surface of the painting becomes a thin boundary that separates the space of our world from the space of the painted world, and yet the painted objects sometimes have the illusion of crossing that barrier.

Throughout my work, I try to engage the viewer on a level that is more emotional than intellectual. I avoid any obvious statement of a particular theme in my work, and I do not try to control the meanings that viewers ascribe to my works, but rather allow them room for personal interpretations.

Following the ethos of the Old Masters, I combine sound traditional techniques with up-to-date research on materials to create works that should survive for centuries. This craftsmanship also has meaning, as it is part of the quality of attention I give to my subject matter.

Awards: Merit Award (one of four) in the 1998 Volkskas Bank Atelier Competition

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