Artist Profile

Juliet Peter

Born 1915, Died 2010

Born in Canterbury in 1915 Juliet Peter was one of a generation of gifted students who graduated from Canterbury College School of Art in the late 1930s. Her earlier work is closely related to the regional realism of Rita Angus and Doris Lusk. After the Second World War, Peter worked full-time for the School Publications, a unit of the Education Department in Wellington. In 1999 she was awarded the OBE in recognition for her outstanding contribution to the visual arts in New Zealand.

Peter's art practice combines an interest in painting, potting and printmaking. She was drawn to lithography because of its intimate association with painting and she studied printmaking in London during the 1950s. In the following decade she took up sculpture as a counterbalance to her activities in other media and studied ceramics at Hammersmith School of Art. Along with her husband Roy Cowan, Peter was an influential figure in the emergence of New Zealand ceramics.

Her work demonstrates a strong interest in social and environmental issues and her subject matter is wide-ranging. From her experiences in London to the bush and wild-life around her Wellington home, memorable images which speak of the artist's love of people, animals and places, her art reflect a sharp wit and a keen, observant eye.

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