Fun paintings and quirky people
TAKE a wander by the water when you step into Art Space Ballarat this month with acrylic painter Peter Hughes Swaddle’s solo exhibition, Where the River Runs, currently on show at the Lydiard Street gallery.
“I’ve been painting all these new abstract works over the last four months, and they’ve all got water in them somewhere, from pink lakes to rivers,” he said.
“I’ve always been interested in aerial landscapes, looking down on things, so most of these are aerial, but I have mixed up the perspective on others, so there’s also some where the viewer is looking directly at the scene.
“I love art. It should be fun, so my pictures and their meaning aren’t too deep, they’re meant to be enjoyed.”
Also on show are Hughes Swaddle’s impressionist-abstract series of prints that feature characters including his beloved previous dog.
He said he hopes viewers walk away from the exhibition and reflect on it as a positive experience.
“I’m aiming for it to be interesting, different, gorgeous. That’s what want, because we all need a little bit of cheering up,” he said.
“If people leave happier, then my job’s done.”
A “serial renovator,” Hughes Swaddle first started painting canvases to bring some colour to properties’ bare walls, but when he retired from his corporate career, he became fully dedicated to his art.
At his first-ever solo exhibition, he unexpectedly sold 23 works.
“For the last four years, I’ve treated it as my career, rather than a hobby. Five days a week, I get up, get dressed, get ready, and paint. I’m self-motivated, self-funded, self-taught,” he said.
He and his wife moved to Ballarat from the Gold Coast 18 months ago, and he said he’s been grateful for the support he’s received from the region’s creative community.
Haymes Paint commissioned him to create original works for their new flagship store on Creswick Road, he exhibits at Europa Café, and has been assisted by the Ballarat Arts Foundation, and Creative Ballarat.
Where the River Runs is on until Sunday, 21 August.