Blog 6: Peter Wade

On Sunday 13th September we are proud to present the paintings of Helen Minogue and sculptures by Peter Wade. Eddi has a long standing interest in sculpture. She curated the Bicentennial Sculpture Park in Gosford in the late 1980's and has recently been busy constructing pieces utilising found farming and mechanical pieces that have been discarded. Last year when we visited Coffs Harbour we were introduced to sculptor Peter Wade and invited him to exhibit with us. We acquired a piece for our own collection which was constructed of wood and steel from a pier in the area that was being dismantled. We have it in the entrance of our house. I rang Peter to talk to him and find out what inspires him and in preparation for the forthcoming exhibition. He revealed that he had always had a very strong desire to draw but subsequently gained greater satisfaction by converting the drawings into 3D objects.

Habitat by Peter Wade

“Drawing is still a big part of teasing out and refining ideas for pieces. I settled in Coffs Harbour and having no furniture when I arrived I improvised or made my own.

If I’m not creating something, either hands- on or with a project ticking over in my head, I feel a bit empty. In Coffs I’ve combined work with sculpture and studying art and design. I feel that now I have a good mix, working on my own pieces at home as well as working part-time in a very creative environment teaching furniture design.

I like to show an eclectic mix of skills and media use, and to regularly come up with fresh and new work that’s often described as distinctive, quirky and humorous. I don’t think my work should be taken too seriously. Often people see meanings and themes in the work that I hadn’t intended but I’m happy for people to identify their own narratives."

I had been impressed by the range of skills that Peter had, and the way in which he combined mixed media. I asked him about his penchant for working with wood, often used with other materials. He said "Wood is a wonderful material; solid and dependable, there is something timeless and deeply satisfying about carving and shaping wood. To many people it’s taboo to paint wood but I often do. One of wood’s appeals as a medium is its ability to take a huge range of surface treatments. I also work with steel. Tough durable material like wood and steel allow for multiple surface reworking until the desired result is achieved. I can spend a large amount of time on individual pieces but I’ve also always enjoyed creating almost spontaneous pieces from existing objects. One of my favourites is still a very early piece; I attached an electrical lead and a switch to a large pumpkin and sat it on my lounge room floor plugged (safely) into an electrical socket. People would always ask “What does it do?” and I’d reply “Nothing, it’s a pumpkin!”’ This has started me on a different tack. I am now also enjoying researching Australian sculptors.


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