“Anything can be beautiful, beauty can surprise you.” Georgia Peskett.
Georgia Peskett, artist and printmaker is interested primarily in the everyday, unremarkable subject matter, continually exploring elements often overlooked within the landscape. Subjects selected from photographs become significant within her paintings as she works with oils on paper and silk using traditional methods of intaglio printing. Her most recent work can be seen at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition curated by Hughie O’Donoghue.
Human passions underpin Hughie O’Donoghue RA’s arrangement in Gallery IX. A huge limestone sculpture, The Scarred One, by Benedict Byrne, provided his starting point with its many references to past cultures and deities. O’Donoghue’s painting, The Full Heat of the Sun, appears opposite Byrne’s sculpture and both works interrogate the tension of human existence across time and cultures. Other works, carefully placed across the gallery, develop O’Donoghue’s exploration of the passions and how to contain them.
Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to be an artist?
When I was around 10 years old, I had a strong feeling that this is what I should be doing. I would spend many hours sketching and creating my own worlds to escape to on paper.
‘Untitled Gold and Blue Oil.’ Detail.
Can you tell us a little bit about the process of making your work, we love process.
The work begins with explorations with my camera, watching and waiting for those moments, the ones that have that right composition, colour or person in them. There the selection begins. Over time, my work has undergone many transitions, I used to work only with oil on calico, I moved on to oil on linen.
‘Turning a corner.’ Detail.
Most recently my process, which has taken around four years to perfect (in terms of materials and getting it right) is painting with oil on prepared silk stretched over canvas and sometimes card or linen. It is quite labour intensive and requires specific consistency for the application of the silk so that it does not wrinkle in the process.
‘New Coat’ Detail.
Is there a piece you’ve created that you’d like to be remembered for, for all time, or even longer?
A personal favourite of mine at this current time, is “New Coat”, this came about after a series of errors as I was painting this. Happy accidents came into this piece, there were other background things going on initially that I over-painted after a period of drying time facing the wall. The female was a key element in the work, I imagined her wearing a new coat. Whether her coat was new or not was not relevant, this work conveys the attitude that we adopt whilst we travel solo, I hoped to convey a sense of isolation.
‘Woman on Escalator’ Detail.
If you could work within one past art movement, which would it be. And why?
I think the Post-Impressionist movement would have been an interesting time to be a painter, with a little more detail than Impressionism. So much experimentation was taking place.
How would you define beauty in 140 characters or less. N.B. There is no correct answer.
Anything can be beautiful, beauty can surprise you. It can be a glance, a head shape or peeling paint on an old wall.
“Anything can be beautiful, beauty can surprise you.“
Beauty exists some days more vividly than others.
‘Last Stand’ Detail.
Do you have a favourite photograph or painting which has been your inspiration?
My favourite painting is “Blotter” by Peter Doig. It has a beautiful mystery to it, the figure looks down and the contemplation of the frozen lake is fascinating to me.
What is your greatest indulgence in life?
How does the culture of where you live or work impact on your work?
Locations play an important part in my work. There is significance to the time and place in each painting I make, they document my own journeys.
Tell us about your colour palette.
I am drawn to specific colours that convey moods in the moments I paint. I notice I use more of a grey, blue palette, this often serves as a cool, neutral background to my figures.
Which artist or artists would you most like to meet? And do you think you’d get on?
Georgia O’Keefe. I have always admired her life, her work and the way she lived, a very uncompromising woman I imagine.
Do you interact with technology in your work?
Yes, much of my reference material is gathered on my iphone camera. It’s then all processed in Photoshop.
What do you wish every child was taught in school, at home, in life?
Art, and more often than it is currently taught. It’s such a great tool for expression in children.
Have you ever held your head in your hands and questioned your career entirely?
Once or twice, when I’ve had too long a break from the studio, there have been moments when I question deeply my direction, this thought has often led me into some kind of breakthrough. Becoming my own harsh critic is a good thing, I don’t let the mediocre work out into the public eye, I filter a lot. I must confess that I have thrown out work that I don’t think is strong enough, anonymously at the local tip.
Do you love what you do? And does it love you?
Georgia Peskett is a London-born artist now based near to Sheffield.
‘I began painting during a three year apprenticeship in New York following my formal art training at Epsom School of Art. New York was where I spent time painting and working alongside many contemporaries of the hugely influential late Jean Michel Basquiat.
Painting New York cityscapes and figurative urban landscapes and later returning to London where I still draw much of my inspiration, from commuters underground to the ubiquitous facades that surround us daily.
My practice is painting with oil on silk over other surfaces such as canvas and board. It is work that examines everyday images.
Other aspects of my paintings are images from the high street and passengers commuting that can question our identity in contemporary society.
I am also a printmaker. In my series of mezzotints you can find references to Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
I have been included in many group shows and solo exhibitions in the UK and Internationally.
My works are held in public, private and corporate collections in the UK, Hong Kong, US, Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, France and Germany.’
The BT collection, Telecom Tower, Bentley Headquarters
The Earl of Chichester, Leeds City Council
Verve Properties and SIP Partners London
Recent Group Exhibitions and Events
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The Royal Academy, Burlington Place London, Summer 2019
Encounters, Group Exhibition with Artcan, D-Contemporary Gallery, Mayfair. May 2019
Elevate, Group Exhibition with ArtCan, The Shard – Duff & Phelps. Spring – Autumn, 2019
ArtRooms Seoul October 2018
The Other Art Fair Bristol July 2018
The Columbia Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2018, London
The Masters, Intaglio Print Exhibition at Bankside Gallery