Writing around my work

05 September, 2010

I make analogue paintings of digital spaces that have never existed and are waiting to be discovered.

Inspired by the early computer adventure games I played as a kid, in which a couple of sentences of bit-mapped text would describe other worlds ripe for discovery, these works reveal locations for the viewer to explore and to try to make sense of.

My colours, so I’m told, are “not very New Zealand” and most definitely have one foot firmly planted in the 1980s. Colour has increasingly become part of my arsenal as a painter and is something I’m enjoying playing with.

I like the way both shape and colour in my work flicker between alluding to landscape and retaining an abstract quality. This tension between formal concerns and the narrative potential of the work is something I’ll continue to exploit. I’m also intrigued by the idea of introducing glitches (visual or otherwise) into future work.

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Date unknown.

In his paintings Gary Peters intuitively explores, reveals and maps unknown territory that is constantly changing. Early text-based adventure games, notions of quest, discovery and regeneration permeate a variety of different colourful spaces as he playfully wrestles with formal concerns and narrative possibilities.

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02 June, 2009

Lookout

Recently I re-discovered the text based adventure games I played as a kid. Their pithy descriptions of other worlds would enthral me for hours - often way past my bedtime. Using a simple syntax – “Go West”, “Get Bottle”, “Open Door” – I’d explore unknown places, pick up objects, solve puzzles all to find the hidden treasure or save the Princess. I loved it!

Back then I was unaware of the nature of quest, mythology or psychological development of the self. I was just a kid playing games on our VIC20! When the next generation of games arrived with pictures it just wasn’t the same – which of course, was the point...

Now, in this digital high-definition always-on always-connected non-stop 24/7 culture, perhaps this work I’m making – an odyssey in pictures rather than words – has something of those more innocent times and their late night, blurry eyed explorations.

Text accompanying my painting 'Lookout' for the Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Awards 2009