Peter Webster | Artist

Born in Leeds in 1951, Peter studied at Leeds and Cardiff Colleges of Art before obtaining a Master of Fine Art from Reading University in 1976.  He held the post of Senior Lecture in Fine Art at the University of Falmouth for 26 years and maintained his own studio practice throughout that time.

“Peter Webster’s images have a strong relationship to language. Not all painting and drawing would so richly repay an effort to think this through, to ask about the similarity and difference between language and painting, to consider the way the two media respectively draw from and re-constitute time and space, identify objects, define events, evoke memory, and much more.

Webster’s process draws on an array of sources—photographs, small objects, reproductions of paintings and drawings, newspaper and magazine clippings, snippets of text, film stills, website screens. There are even some small, rough models of three-dimensional shapes taken from other paintings. These things form an absolutely unique archive. Many of them have inhabited the studio for some time, available to serve as models on short notice. The paintings often depict these objects, although depict probably isn’t quite right. It’s more like a conversation is underway, an exchange between past and present, between the tangible objects and paint, between disparate shapes and materials and an orderly statement, a work.

And in the end, in the work we’re seeing on the wall, the separate paintings, don’t really work like words in a sentence at all, but perhaps more like entries in a journal, or stills from a film—from several films, or better yet, like terse aphorisms—sayings—short and cryptic, funny, wise or strange by turns. What they have in common is someone, a consciousness, a memory, a set of criteria—someone at the helm, making the decisions. And it is not difficult to recognize in the choices, the ambiguities, the apparent leaps in time, the odd repetitions, a distinct “voice”. It’s the voice of someone rather like us, someone who, as a citizen of the present, is constantly confronted with vast numbers of images and texts, depicted spaces and recorded words. It’s someone concerned with the way we negotiate the issues: the need to let most of this flood of images, texts and sounds flow past, the difficulty in explaining, in any logical way, why you remember certain things and not others, why the specific look or light in one space just stays with you.”

Dr Nancy Roth, Independent Writer and Translator

Recent Exhibitions

2021‘Nutopia, Rising From Beautiful Ruins’— Mixed ShowJupiter Gallery, Newlyn
NSA Past, Present, FutureTremenheere Gallery, Guival, Penzance
2020NSA Edge of DarknessTremenheere Gallery, Guival, Penzance
Wells Art ContemporaryOnline Exhibition
Sub SixBedruthan Hotel, Newquay
2019Imagine FalmouthFalmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth
Back To The Future – Four Artists – One Art School – Five Decades LaterAndelli Art , Wells, Somerset
NSA Ex LibrisTremenheere Gallery, Gulval, Penzance
2018NSA Drawing ExploredTremenheere Gallery, Gulval, Penzance
Wells Art ContemporaryBishops Palace, Wells, Somerset
2017NSA Open Submission ‘Borders’Tremenheere Gallery, Gulval, Penzance
NSA Critics ChoiceTremenheere Gallery, Gulval, Penzance
Imagine FalmouthFalmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth


1982Peter Webster, article by Ken RowatThe Guardian
1996Drawing Towards The End of the CenturyNSA Publications
2002ARTNSA Catching the Wave – Contemporary Art & Artists in CornwallTom Cross
2013Speaking of Painting an essay by Nancy RothThirty Paintings Catalogue