VISIT FLUX STOKE ON TRENT
AT BAREWALL THIS SUMMER.
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Peter Davies (b. 1953)

Peter Davies is a well-known author, art critic and artist. He is an Obituarist for the Independent and a contributor to many journals and exhibition catalogues. Previous books include A Northern School Revisited (2015), Art in Poole and Dorset (1987), Arthur Ballard (1996), Michael Kenny Sculpture (1997), The Sculpture of John Milne (2000), After Trewyn (2001), and Marjorie Parr (2008). He is a member of the Bath Society of Artists and Poole Printmakers and his linocut prints are in several public art gallery permanent collections.

Peter's connections to Stoke started with a course at Keele University in the 70's whilst in more recent years he has included the Stoke school of painters in his tome The Northern School, a bible to the Northern Art scene collectors and gallerists. On attending the opening of Lowry and Berry Observers of Urban Life exhibition at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in 2015, Barewall made a great friend who has since been interested in the art of the Potteries.

Peter is currently writing a monograph on Arthur Berry to be published in late 2021, we are delighted to include his books and artwork at the gallery.

Peter Davies was featured in Spring 2021 edition of leading print making art magazine Print Making Today. My Printing Day by Peter Davies follows:

"Originally inspired by Legendary printmaker John Liddell (1924-2005), my printing practice has flourished since I joined Poole Printmakers. The workshop is situated close to Poole Quay and the surrounding coastal environment that has long moved me. While forays in lithography under Michael Gill and Steve Clarkson at Bat Print Studio and screenprinting at both The Print Block and Artizan Editions have seen me engage with other processes, my preference for reduction colour linocut remains. I am drawn to its inexorable logic, jigsaw puzzle conundrums and imposed disciplines.

Recurring landscapes (especially Poole, St Ives and Guernsey) often include foreground elements providing flat geometry and compositional structure as a foil to offset plein air drawing of naturalistic motifs. I trace these onto lino ready for lengthy printing sessions on Poole's trusty Albion press. Since 'suicide' reduction is a veritable tightrope, concentrated bursts of working are the preferred options and require working long shifts. Sessions customarily extend from late afternoon to the wee hours, an uninterrupted time span when one is on a roll in more ways than one. However I enjoy the camaraderie and sharing of trade secrets during daytime sessions.

The Poole Albion is an old friend, a heavy duty iron machine to be coaxed and caressed to yield improvisations or creative side effects. For example experiments in packing the letterbed or squeezing two impressions from a single oil-based inking on absorbent 300g Somerset satin create variations of expressive effect from atmospheric, distanced graininess to vivid high focus saturation. Similarly, fortuitous textural effects, proper to topography, stem from the hazardous manner of working wet into wet. Subliminal, unintended secondary patterns are registered on the final image, a revelatory eureka moment when peeled off the inked plate.

Block colour, as well as intaglio line or texture, forms structure. It can also register mood and expressive dynamism. My colour is essentially tonal and hand mixed. Edition numbers are a function of the projected popularity or commercial potential of chosen subjects. Scale runs from book illustration (6 x 4") to A3 pictorial standard size. Using reams of masking tape in a laborious process mitigates excessively inked surfaces.

Pegging up wet impressions to dry, breaks the seamless rhythm of cut - ink - cut in ever diminishing sequences. It also allows for patience and coherence to intercede. I find working to order or gallery diktats compromise artistic integrity, although group shows such as Norwich Cathedral's Sacred Tree (2022) or the touring Island Fortress (2021) provide welcome planned objectives for the plastic and psychological soul searching of my blissful printing days."

Peter Davies 2021