Artists in the windows
Owen Piggott (1931 – 2015)
A selection of works from the East Gippsland Art Gallery collection currently on display in the Gallery windows. If you are passing by have a look!
The East Gippsland Art Gallery collection of works by Owen Piggott was kindly and generously donated by Lynette Piggott and family in 2016.
Owen Piggott was born in Worcestershire, England 1931. After his initial art training in the United Kingdom, Owen relocated to the Mornington Peninsula in 1950 and enrolled at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. His first exhibition at the Argus Gallery in Melbourne in 1964 included a number of abstract designs that alluded to cell or seed structures.
An excursion to central Australia in 1964 provided a transformative experience for the artist and ushered in a new phase of work, one that explored the landscape using symbolic elements and figures. Emblematic abstraction, featuring squares, circles and other geometric forms, was being explored by several other artists working in Melbourne at this time, including Leonard French, Roger Kemp, Asher Bilu, Lawrence Daws and Jan Senbergs. These artists believed that through their highly symbolic abstract works, higher levels of consciousness could be contemplated and linked to other representations of life or metaphysical narratives.
In 1967 Piggott visited the exhibition Two decades of American Painting at the National Galleryof Victoria. This exposure to gestural abstraction, colour field and pop art paintings, was to become highly influential on Piggott’s practice.
For more than thirty years, Owen Piggott lived at Metung, overlooking the Gippsland lakes. His paintings draw on the experience of light and atmosphere around the lakes, without making specific reference to the landscape. Instead, his paintings might be read as abstractions,without losing touch with real life perception and phenomena.The White Light series covers the last four years of Piggott’s work, and includes oil paintings as well as paintings in other media. Visitors are taken on a journey through space and atmosphere, with many pieces alluding to an upward passage into the heavens above.Owen Piggott’s work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria,Queensland Art Gallery and regional and university galleries