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Memorial

An exhibition by Peter White

13th July – 21st August 2019

‘Memorial’ is an on-going project with elements that Peter White has been working on for a number of years. It is an exhibition of interconnecting themes, including: large and small paintings, graphite drawings, text based work and the Memorial Stones project.

For the last 15 years Peter has been making small graphite drawings from prisoner identity photographs. The photographs were taken by the authorities at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Lubyanka Secret Police headquarters in Moscow and Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. These prisoners had almost everything taken from them; their homes, their families, their possessions, their names, their hair, their lives. In some cases this thin photograph appears to be all that remains as evidence of a person’s existence and raises questions of identity and history.

The idea behind the Memorial Stones project was borne three years ago after Peter was climbing Cul Beag; a hill north of Ullapool that his father had walked in life but never made it to the top of and where some of his ashes were scattered twenty years ago. Peter picked up a stone, took it home and painted on it. He intends to return the stone back to Cul Beag in memory of his father. From this action the project has grown – now there are many stones, from many hills, in memory of many people. The stones have originated from Scottish Hills and from Palestine. These stones will also be returned. It is the intention that some painted stones will be placed on Brims Hill near Scrabster as a small external part of the exhibition.

Peter’s paintings are a mainstay of his practice. Singular, simple objects are the recurring images within both the larger and smaller paintings and the Memorial Stones. These images can be seen as a cohesive factor which works its way through the exhibition. The exhibition is formed around large panels that provide both textual and monochrome surfaces. The panels enable the tone of the background to be changed in particular areas. These areas accommodate and focus attention on particular elements of the exhibition and create individual spaces within the gallery.

Image: Flower, Peter White, oil acrylic and wax.