Phillip Piperides

The Viewer

September 25 - October 9 2010

I have forever been intrigued with the human form. More than naturalistic representations, my work is about capturing moments which occupy a space in time. Phillip Piperides  May, 2010

In Ancient Greek mythology there is a Cypriot sculptor named Pygmalion who created a statue of a maiden so beautiful and perfect, that the goddess Venus felt compelled to endow it with sentient life. By curious coincidence, Cyprus-born Phillip Piperides also creates figurative statuary with such grace of form that the burnished metal seems almost to breathe.

Migrating with his family to Australia in 1967, Piperides’ aptitude for making three-dimensional materials come alive was evident from an early age. He had experienced the tactile properties of clay in his father’s commercial pottery. Nothing is so direct and responsive as clay! Piperides’ innate gift for modelling this medium inevitably developed into a career of producing extraordinary bronzes at his own foundry - the Perides Art Foundry in Brisbane. During the 80’s Piperides had travelled to Greece and Italy to investigate the casting techniques of great masters. He brought back crucial knowledge to Australia, generously sharing and teaching the complex processes he’d learnt abroad. In recognition of his service to the arts and the achievements of his personal practice, Piperides was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1989. The grant enabled him to undertake further study in Canada, USA and England where he explored contemporary methods of monumental casting.

One of the pleasures in viewing a Piperides’ bronze sculpture arises from our understanding that a soft malleable material has been transposed into the solid and enduring personification of a mood or moment in time. Piperides meticulously presides over every stage in bringing the mute, raw materials into a life-suffused, physical reality. Enormous skill is required in the lengthy and painstaking processes involved. Put most simplistically, the pose of a live model is rendered in clay and a cast made which is then poured with molten bronze and allowed to cool. The cast is dismantled and after long hours of chipping away dross and polishing, the final patination is applied. 

There is a timeless serenity to the bronzes Piperides creates. Light gently caresses rounded volumes and lustrous, burnished surfaces. A union of ideal and reality, the figures convey a profoundly Classical air. But beyond the anatomical perfection and sensitive play of light, the works engage the viewer at a deeper, more contemplative level. There is a sense of complete quietude to the self-sufficient repose of each figure. Free of restless energy, Piperides’ bronzes seem to represent a state of being which defies all worldly concern.

Phillip Piperides’ superb craftsmanship and mastery of form has earned him a great number of prestigious public commissions among which include: the Stinson Crash Memorial, Lamington National Park, Queensland 1997; the Australian Coat of Arms, Australian High Commission, Papua New Guinea, 1996; Hippocrates, Royal Brisbane Hospital Medical School, Queensland, 1996; Memorial to Banjo Patterson, Winton Shire Council, Queensland, 1994; the casting of Coat of Arms, Commonwealth Law Courts, Brisbane, 1993; Portrait Medallions, University of Queensland, 1990 and the Council Crest, Brisbane City Botanical Gardens, 1990. 

With solo exhibitions in London, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and a recent, near sell-out show in Sydney, Anthea Polson Art is privileged to present Phillip Piperides’ current body of work. 


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