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).
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?
Peteris Ciemitis was invited to represent Australia in Shanghai/Changzhou International Art Festival, along with 100 international artists, who produced works during the event. Ciemitis’ painting “Identity Dissonance” extended the idea of a mute self-identity, and was acquired by the Boesheng Museum of Art for it’s permanent collection.
View a short background video to the Festival, and the production of
Peteris Ciemitis co-presenting in a panel discussion at the National Museum of
Art “Arsenals, during the “Latviesu maksla trimda” exhibition.
A major exhibition open at Latvijas Nacionala makslas muzeja izstazu zale “Arsenals” (the Latvian National Museum of Art) which remembers the journey and new lives of Latvian’s dispora peoples. The exhibition, “Latviesu maksla trimda” presented audiences with works by approximately 100 artists including Imants Tillers, Janis Nedela and Peteris Ciemitis. Notably, at the time of the exhibition, the National Museum and also acquired Ciemitis’ painting “Pasa Galva” for its permanent collection.
“Penumbra” (the in-between shadow and light) became the core theme for artists Peteris Ciemitis, Maris Raudzins, Maija Medinis, Gabrielle Mazalevskis and Len Zuks at a joint exhibition at Heathcote Museum and Gallery in April. Curated by Olimpia Cullity, the exhibition dealt with the idea of cultural and spatial displacement in contemporary society. A keynote of the event was also an artist talk by Peteris Ciemitis on “Creativity in Confirmed Spaces”.
Arbus referenced in the palindromic “are we not drawn onward to a new era?”, by Peteris Ciemitis, exhibited in “Penumbra”.
Peteris Ciemitis’ OEHLERS’ being viewed at the PAA Exhibition Parliament House,
Parliament House, Canberra, became the scene of an exhibition curated by Portrait Artists Australia, celebrating Australian innovators and achievers. Coinciding with the publication of “The Artists Book – Portrait Artists Australia – Ten Years”, the exhibition surveyed portraiture by leading artists across Australia, and included Peteris Ciemitis’ painting “OEHLERS”, depicting jazz innovator, Jamie Oehlers.