Art Cup Project
Artist: Peter Barker
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Peter Barker’s work can be found in the Kerry Stokes collection, as well as in many private collections around the world.
We sat down with Peter to find out about the man behind the painting and the painting in front of the man.
What’s his coffee order?
Short Macchiato. But I change a lot… I’ve been having decaf lately.
Where can you view his work?
Follow me on Instagram for updates and visit my website to view more. I had worked in a couple of galleries, Margaret River Gallery and Gallery Lumino, but both were closed because of COVID. I’ve also got work at Juniper Gallery. There are really only a handful of galleries around now. I haven’t got any shows planned for this year, but I will teach at the Perth Art Academy. We have 3 different teachers, teaching 3 different mediums from beginner to intermediate. There’re different times and days available for classes. The best way to find the classes is to look at the website–perthartacademy.com
Why did you choose this piece of artwork for the cup?
I gave them a selection of images, and this piece was chosen. I’m not entirely sure why it was chosen, but Pete chose this one.
What is the story behind this piece of art?
This is a friend of mine’s son and he was at this age of adolescence where you’re not a boy, not a girl, and there’s this freedom. He was a boy, but he didn’t have any issues with sexuality. He was just on that cusp of changing. He must have been about 8 or 9, just when they haven’t got the cares about work, school and there was this really nice innocent freedom about him. And I think every kid goes through it, and then the world comes in. He was in a nice little innocent time. I thought I would like to capture that. With the flowers coming as an afterthought. It seems like there’s this point in society where all these pressures come in on everyone. Start making choices on things you want to do at school and the courses. You have to almost set out your whole life in front of you. And for me growing up it was, you know, I didn’t want this yet. I didn’t make these choices until much later. And he was just a happy boy.
What appealed to you about this project?
First, it was my friend Peter. I trust Pete Ross and his background, so I knew the project was going to be tasteful and that would consider the artist more. He’s also been working on projects with Karvan for a long time. Also, whenever you see an image of yours out in public, it’s a nice bit of a thrill. I also drink coffee. A bit too much. There’s a great overlap between the cafe and the art world. Cafes offer a space to stop and contemplate. We’re such a caffeine culture. Usually, the only place you can sit, relax and have 5 minutes to yourself is at a café. I often do that. Often, I’ll go to a café, collect my thoughts, write some notes on what I want to do and get ideas for my paintings.
Why is it important to support the arts?
It’s a rare opportunity that the smaller guys to get noticed. Artists that are painting every day or doing their music every day. Often when supporting the arts, businesses can go towards the bigger acts. It’s all about being seen in the end. There are different people doing different things. It’s not just about one thing. And I think artists can often get overlooked. It’s nice when there’s more awareness given to a variety of different acts, not just the major artists, but the lesser-known local guys too.