Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, Geraldton Western Australia
The Past Stops Now … well, not quite yet for this retrospective exhibition.
Shown at the Collie Art Gallery in May, “The Past Stops Now” exhibition has opened at the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery for a further run in October 2021. With a few tweaks and changes, this retrospective of Peteris Ciemitis’ work over the past 12 years is one of the gallery’s feature exhibitions throughout October, alongside IOTA21 (the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial).
The Past Stops Now deals with three themes; Heads, Anxiety and Place. All are explored as it they were subjects of portraiture, from the Albert Tucker/Joy Hester referenced examinations of ‘Future Shock’ anxiety, to the floating, placeless depictions of trees and land.
Over 200 guests attended the opening night (Friday 1 October) which was officiated by City of Geraldton Councillor Steve Douglas and Gallery Coordinator Marina Baker. Dozens of guests also attended the artists talk by Peteris Ciemitis the following day as part of the Big Sky festival.
“The Past Stops Now” is a survey of paintings and drawings from 2008 to 2021 by Peteris Ciemitis
This exhibition deals with the effects of societal and technological change on behaviors and psyches, particularly the part runaway change plays in generating a background anxiety which has become commonplace today. Rather than simply depicting the outward effect of these changes, the works focus on our internal state, and our loss of groundedness.
In March 2020, Peter Ciemitis celebrated winning the second prize in the 2020 Collie Art Prize; a $5,000 prize including an exhibition at the Collie Art Gallery in 2021.
The prize was recently created by the Shire of Collie, after investing in building one the State’s most recent A-Class galleries; the Collie Art Gallery. To match the vision of building a National standard gallery, the Shire went on to create a National Art Prize to go with it. The 2020 Collie Art Prize attracted approximately 400 entries from around Australia, and appointed the highest calibre of national judges to select the winners.
There is no greater honour than to be selected as a prize recipient by an erudite and eminent panel of judges: Carl Altmann MA, Emeritus Professor Sasha Grishin AM, and Ted Snell, AM, CitWA.
The Award winners were: 1st Prize ($50,000) Mary-Lynne Stratton for her work ”Ranges around Ross River NT”, equal 2nd Prize (each $5000 plus complementary exhibitions at the Gallery) WA artist Peteris Ciemitis for his work ‘ES+ID’ and Queensland artist Brian Robinson for his lino print ‘Bedhan Lag: Land of the Kalwalagal’, and 3rd Prize ($4,000) Olga Cironis for her work ‘Breath’
Congratulations to fellow award and highly commended recipients, and all finalists shortlisted in this major Regionally based and Nationally significant art prize.
The Latvian word kopā means ‘together’, or ‘in unison’. So it was fitting that participating artists Jillian and Peteris Ciemitis jointly produced a body of work for a show with that same name; “Kopā” – an exhibition of art by Baltic-Australian artists.
Taking out an entire upstairs gallery at Moores Contemporary Art Gallery in Fremantle Australia, Jillian and Peteris Ciemitis have a joint showing that explores the fading ripples of the post-war diaspora that fled northern Europe in 1948.
Jillian Ciemitis’ series “Occupation” is a dark ‘noir’ exploration of the impact of Soviet occupation of Latvia, both in terms of physical trauma and displacement, as well as the echoes of psychological impact. These dark images are counterpointed by a contemporary constructed memory of Latvian culture in “Kokle”.
Peteris Ciemitis examines the relationship between a ‘Latvian self’ and the willful subconscious identity in “ES+ID”. These themes are touched on further a series of pen and ink sketches the “Portret” series, which amongst other things, features one of the working drawings of Peter Greste (- a sketch that was undertaken following a sitting with Greste which led to a series of major paintings that now have a variety of homes, from the offices of Amnesity International in Sydney, to the Qiajiang International Museum of Art in China).
Jillian and Peteris were delighted to open their urban studio in November to the Friends of Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. Amidst a balmy Perth day, over 30 art lovers scaled the ‘ladder’ to the two formal studio spaces, and enjoyed artist talks, a leisurely wine and an art chat under the leaves in the artists’ “secret garden”.
Sincere thanks to Jeffry Campbell, Pauline Faulds and Catherine McCloy from Friends of Lawrence Wilson Gallery for their consummate professionalism and efficiency in organising the event. The “Friends” are an integral part of the prestigious Lawrence Wilson Gallery of the University of Western Australia, and provide support for its activities, ranging from the acquisition of new works to providing artistic and technical facilities.
Jillian Ciemitis and Peter Ciemitis both participated in the inaugural Culture and Arts Festival in Sivsagar in February 2018, along with Vittorio Tonon, Maria Balea, Tone White, Maneswar Brahmaand our Arts overseer, Utpal Barua.
As well as a host of international visual artists, the four day festival featured a vast array of musicians, dancers and performers (including the Deputy Commissioner, Narayan Konwar).
Peteris Ciemitis proudly formed part of the line-up of the State’s leading portrait artists in the “Skin Deep” exhibition opening at Moore’s Gallery Friday 9 March 2018.
‘Skin Deep 2018’ was the fourth annual exhibition by the WA Portrait Artists Association which comprised over fifty portraits by the fourteen participating artists whose work ranges from small to very large, from photorealism to expressive interpretations. The exhibition presented a diverse range of concepts and techniques representing contemporary portraiture at its very best.
This year, the exhibition also included a secret room; “Hidden”. What was there?
Jillian Ciemitis and Peter Ciemitis were part of the successful MEADOWS “Personal Structures” exhibition in the Venice Biennale collateral program in 2017.
With the Biennale over, the installation commenced a European tour, opening at the glorious Villaguilua on Lakemaggiore Italy. Congratulations to Lena Kelekian Sulahian and Francesca Maurizi for success in their efforts to maintain exposure to this outstanding project.
In October 2016, Jillian and Peteris Ciemitis represented Australia in the G20 International Art Exhibition in Hangzhou, China. This short film tells the story of the Exhibition, which featured over 60 international artists invited from the twenty G20 countries.