PETER HUDSON : RIGHT PLACE / RIGHT TIME
24 Feb to 14 Apr 2024
Right Place / Right Time sees celebrated artist Peter Hudson immerse himself in the stunning landscapes of Noosa National Park and its surrounds. Paint dances as rhythm and melody across the surfaces of his works, with the restraint and finesses for which he is widely known.
THE RHYTHM OF CHAOS
New paintings by Peter Hudson at Noosa Regional Gallery
An essay by Kim Guthrie
Peter Hudson is a drummer and a painter performing in the time signature of life. His ‘en plein air’ paintings are selective studies of the elemental, the ones you can see and the ones you can’t. Each picture suspends the passing of time and records the interplay of light in a space he’s identified to capture from the air he’s breathing that’s rippling the water. Sounds relatively simple; but it isn’t. It’s a chaotic maelstrom of competing elements that the painter must sift through. Keeping the vital bits and discarding the irrelevant to make a compelling facsimile of the reality he’s immersed himself in then and there. Taming and transmuting the chaos into a picture. That Alchemy is present in all good art-making.
Peter and I discussed our approach to grouping objects. I explained how I’ve adopted the Japanese aesthetic idea of only using odd numbers. Whether it be rocks in a garden, trees planted, or images gathered. In this show, Peter has chosen to group paintings in fours. He explained he’s a drummer and 4/4 is his time signature but also rock groups are predominantly four-piece – bass, drums, guitar, and keyboards. It immediately made sense! But since I’ve visited his studio, seen the work firsthand, and had time to ruminate on this question, it dawned on me that although the beat is 4/4, all beats aren’t even. There’s an emphasis given to each, and this is true of these pictures. There is an odd-man-out in each quartet of images, as Michael Brennan (Noosa Regional Gallery, director) perceptively noted. So, they are now three and one 3/1 …back to odd numbers! My point is, that chaos is at work here once again even when we least expect it. It’s the one constant throughout everything.
Peter was originally a jeweller by trade, working in miniature beauty where detail is crucial and it’s important to get things right at a micro level; great training for the observational skills required to make pictures. Something that stuck with me from art school that my life drawing teacher said: “Drawing is 90 percent observation and 10 percent application”.
Hudson is a product of rural Queensland, but I’d contend a rare and unusual one. His father was an air traffic controller, and he grew up living at or near rural airstrips around the state. I’m sure it’s infiltrated his psyche. Maybe the enforced isolation lends cause for introspection or meditation? Required skills essential for a painter or a drummer. I find Peter an unpretentious, considerate, and generous human with a gift for conjuring these illusions that are ever present in the rhythm of chaos.
ENTRY TO THIS EXHIBITION IS FREE
Exhibition Eventsexhibition opening 24 Feb 2024
Main Image: Peter Hudson, The Track to Tea Tree Bay (detail). Photo by Richard Muldoon.