Peter Coad 


Peter was born in 1947, and spent the first ten years of his life in the rural town of Karoonda in South Australia. He studied sign writing for 5 years along with Graphic Art and Silk Screen Printing at Marleston Technical College, Adelaide, from 1965 to 1968. He won the coveted Sandussky Cup for Silk screen Printing and Design in 1967.

He began painting professionally in 1967. His first solo exhibition consisting mainly of watercolors was in 1978 during the Adelaide Festival of Arts. He since had a further 22 solo exhibitions and participated in numerous mixed exhibitions in Australia and overseas, using various mediums and subjects. His gouache and polyvinyl-acetate series on the River Murray (River series 1984) and the Coorong (Coorong Sketchbook 1987) firmly established his now recognizable style and uninhibited use of vivid colors and bold strokes.

Peter has travelled extensively, fuelled by a desire for knowledge of ancient cultures and a love and respect for indigenous people and their art forms. These things have been inspirational to him. His first overseas journey was to the West Coast of America, Mexico and Hawaii. Subsequently, he travelled to many Asian destinations, Tahiti, Europe, North and East Africa, the East Coast of America and Canada and he continually travels within Australia.

After the trip to Africa in 1988 and then to the Kakadu and Bool Lagoon areas of Australia, his comparison between the colors of the African and Australian landscapes inspired works of even more depth of color in the series of works Australian Landscape - a New Perspective (1989).

In June 1990, when he revisited the USA and travelled through Arizona Utah and New Mexico, he sketched these predominantly Indian culture areas and had discussions with Navajo and Hopi Indians about their art forms. His ensuing journey was in Australia to the arid inland areas of the Lake Eyre Region, Barrier Highway, Coopers Creek and Stony Desert. From this he produced a series using oil-crayon, with an Indian geometric influence. These paintings, Influences from a New Mexico Landscape (1990) depicted a completely new style and concept, and were exhibited at the Adelaide Hilton, Grand Prix Exhibition.

In 1992 and 1993 his visits to the mystical islands of Bali and Lombok produced a series of contemporary flora paintings, namely Paintings from a Bali Sketchbook (1993). This series added a unique and diverse component to his previous work.
His series, Icons For a Traveller (1995), was a recollection of landscapes and wildlife from Australia, Egypt and the south western deserts of the USA. He says they were basically a traveller's diary of paintings and drawings compiled over the 114 months previous. This style is a diary of thoughts and feelings expressions of the soul, and comparisons between different places.

In December 1996, after a few years of personal traumas, a painting excursion to Broome, Western Australia brought about a resurgence of bright colors in all different styles of work. The highly successful Spirits of the Landscape Exhibition, held for his 50th Birthday in April 1997, displayed these energetic works, which incorporated the vivid red ochres and the strong tropical greens and blues of that area.
Although these colors are still predominant, currently his work is delicately incorporating influences of Asia, following a recent trip to Malaysia with a group exhibition of South Australian artists.

Peter has emerged a highly acclaimed artist with a unique and distinctive style. His works, a masterful fusion of color and composition, combine realism with the contemporary. They are represented in collections in Australia, USA, Japan, Malaysia, England, Singapore, Greece, Germany, Canada, Hungary, Zimbabwe and are on view in many galleries throughout Australia.

In 2001 Peter painted a whole collection of original work for The Tracker, an Australian film produced by Rolf de Heer.  Peter’s work formed an integral part of the film and linked the art of painting and cinema in a unique way. The collection was released with the film in 2002.