preloder

Peter Miller

Peter Miller was born in the Waikato, 1955. After moving to Auckland, he studied life drawing with Peter Waddell and Matthew Browne at Outreach (Artstation) from 1993-1995. Peter graduated with a diploma of Visual Arts from the Manukau Institute of Art and Design.

The origin of Miller’s work lies in the Dutch Vanitas paintings of the 16th and 17th century, as well as remaining open to interpretation through the eyes of the individual viewer. The painters of the Vanitas genre used strong iconic symbolism within their paintings to refer to the transient nature of life, mankind’s mortality and the futility and insignificance of mankind’s pursuits in the face of the endless passing of time.

Miller can best be classified as a contemporary still life painter. He has chosen to play with that same theme but to reinvent it in a more subtle personal manner, using simple common objects of a personal significance and beauty. The damaged, worn and broken objects within these paintings are used to indicate the fragility and impermanence of material possessions and through this, the fragile nature of life itself. The toys show signs of wear and tear, referencing the passing of childhood as well as the passing of time. Miller’s paintings may also provoke a sense of nostalgia within the viewer, signifiers of a childhood passed and no longer attainable. The use of the skull is perhaps the most obvious reference to the vanitas style, the skull, being perhaps the most commonly used symbol within that genre.

Miller has tended to avoid the strong symbolism of the Vanitas painters, choosing instead to work predominantly with subtlety and ambiguity. He uses the objects contained within the paintings to create an illusion of a story- or an allusion to a story- without giving a defined narrative. The spatial element within the painting is used to create a sense of disquiet, of an altered reality. Here too, the shadows play an important part, giving a sense of time passing, of the day’s end, and the disquiet that can be evoked with the image of twilight.

Peter Miller has exhibited frequently throughout New Zealand since 1996 and has been a regular finalist in some of New Zealand’s most prestigious art awards – most recently winning the Molly Morpeth Canady Art Award in 2014 and a finalist in the 2013 Wallace Art Awards. His work features in public and private collections across Europe, USA and Australasia, including a number of works in the James Wallace Arts Trust in Auckland.

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2013  The Mark of an Object- Railway Street Gallery, Auckland

2009  The Age of Innocence- Whitespace Gallery, Auckland

2007  Time Passing, Passing Time- Mcpherson Gallery, Auckland

2006  Stuck In Traffic- Mcpherson Gallery Auckland

2004  Passing Time- Gallery 33, Wanaka

2002  Heavy Traffic- Mcpherson Gallery

 

SELECTED AWARDS

2015  New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award, Hamilton- (finalist)

2015  Molly Morpeth Canaday Award, Whakatane- (finalist)

2014   Adam Portraiture Award, Wellington (finalist)

2014  Molly Morpeth Canaday Award, Whakatane- (finalist, 1st prize)

2013  James Wallace Trust Art Award, Auckland- (finalist, touring show)

2013  Molly Morpeth Canaday Award, Whakatane- (finalist, merit award)

2012  Adam Portraiture Award, Wellington- (finalist)

2012  New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Art Award, Hamilton- (finalist)

2011  New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Art Award, Hamilton- (finalist)

2011  Molly Morpeth Canaday Award, Whakatane- (finalist)

2010  Adam Portraiture Award, Wellington- (finalist, nz touring show)

2010  Molly Morpeth Canaday Award, Whakatane- (finalist)

2008  Adam Portraiture Award, Wellington- (finalist, Auckland touring show)

2008  New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Art Award, Hamilton- (finalist)

2006  Walker and Hall Art Award, Waiheke- (finalist)

2006  James Wallace Trust Art Award, Auckland- (finalist)

2004  James Wallace Trust Art Award, Auckland- (finalist)

2004  Waikato Painting and Printmaking Art Award, Hamilton- (finalist)

2003  James Wallace Trust Art Award, Auckland- (finalist, Wellington touring show)

2003  Norsewear Art Award, Hastings- (finalist)

2003  Waikato Painting and Printmaking Art Award, Hamilton- (finalist)

2002  James Wallace Trust Art Award, Auckland- (touring finalist)

2002  Norsewear Art Award, Hastings- (finalist)

1998  James Wallace Trust Art Award, Auckland- (finalist)

1998  Waitakere Licensing Trust Art Award, Auckland- (finalist)

1997  Waitakere Licensing Trust Art Award, Auckland- (2nd prize) 

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