PETER ROWE : LIMITLESS

From 3 June 2023

This exhibition presents the extensive work of Peter Rowe, a prolific artist based on the Sunshine Coast. While Peter happens to live with Downs Syndrome, this exhibition challenges the notion of categorising artists based on their abilities. 

LIMITLESS represents an era of Rowe’s career from 2011- 2017, drawing on pieces from the Lyn and John McCrea collection, and the artist’s private collection.

Peter’s paintings meticulously consider colour interactions, dynamic mark-making, and the interplay of tones and moods to create a captivating visual experience. Within his figurative work, playful robotic-like characters emerge alongside recurring themes of home, family, support chairs, and the companionship of his beloved dogs. However, beneath the surface lies darker undertones with conceptual rigor beyond art as therapy.

Having experienced institutional abuse and discrimination within a care facility, Peter’s art reflects on his journey back to the safety of his beloved parents, Betty and Justin. Peter offers a glimpse into his journey by inviting viewers to engage with his paintings, read his poetry and books, and unravel the meaning and metaphors behind his stories. Through his expansive painting practice, he has turned darkness and pain into a sanctuary of peace, happiness, and vivid colour.

Yet, Peter’s art serves a purpose beyond personal catharsis. It stands as activism, a call to dismantle the barriers and stigmas that people with disabilities continue to face. By challenging preconceptions and defying societal norms, Peter’s work becomes a powerful tool for inclusivity.

Peter Rowe is a cultural leader whose contributions to the creative landscape extend far beyond his individual achievements.

In the face of adversity, Peter’s journey home is a testament to the limitless ability we may otherwise naively dismiss.

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Main Image: Peter Rowe. Courtesy of the artist.