Michael Peck - 'The Landing'
14 November - 03 December 2011
Michael Peck talks about his latest body of work....
“Themes of isolation and displacement have continually reoccurred in my paintings over time. I’m always seeking to create a tension in the work; the suspense in the feeling that something is just about to happen, as if the landscape could suddenly swallow everything and everyone up. I think art is a good place to be able to engage with our anxieties. We live in a social, political and environmental climate that is pretty hostile, yet we do our best to mask our fears. I think that art provides a context where people’s fears can be corroborated; it helps us to know that others share the same concerns and helps us feel less alone. Ironically there is an abstract comfort in recognition of this shared isolation”.
“Both my grandfathers fought in World War II and when they both passed away within months of one another in 2010, I could not help but think that I knew so little about their lives,” says Peck. “Both had witnessed terrible things. Bob somehow survived the sinking of two ships and Richard spent three years in a Japanese POW camp. But neither of them spoke about their experiences, preferring to bury them in the past and get on with their lives.
“Much though I loved them, I was always aware that I knew very little about the major events in their lives that had shaped them into the men I knew. My insight into their life experiences was always like a child’s – naďve at best. My world was totally safe and secure and even if they had explained it to me, I was totally incapable of feeling any true empathy for what they had themselves been through.”