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Da Gadderie: Peter Davis - Of Time and Water


Peter Davis – Of Time and Water

A new exhibition from westside artist, Peter Davis, opens in Da Gadderie at Shetland Museum and Archives this weekend.

"My studio looks out over the meandering burn flowing through the valley in Weisdale. It is water that flows constantly, sometimes slowly and trickling in high summer surrounded by greenness, sometimes in full flood in winter over-spilling onto the brown land. Still and flowing water have always been significant elements in my painting."

Time of day and time of year have also been strong influences for Peter. Early morning and the hour before sunset are usually the best, when the sun, if it's around, casts a strange light over the landscape. One of his favourite times of year is winter when the elements of landscape are at their most minimal, though the stillness and lasting light of summer is also very special.

Time and water are just two of the many important elements at work in watercolour painting. That's why, for Peter, this medium reflects so well the characteristics of landscape. Watercolour is almost a metaphor, and a microcosm, of the natural world.

There are, of course, plenty of other variables at work in watercolour painting, which include the quality and quantity of pigment and water, the angle of paper, the size and quality of brush, the air temperature, and the drying time.

The paintings in this exhibition were painted over the last three or four years and chart not only seasons, places, weathers and occasions but also a personal journey from bleakness to new horizons.

The work is increasingly concerned with light effects and "representation" though that's not to say that the work is realistically topographical. However the images are abstracted from real places.

The title is a quote from Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges and refers to the creation of works of Art, particularly the flow of poetry, and how Art mirrors Nature.

John Hunter, Shetland Museum and Archives Exhibitions Officer, commented on the collection: "To have the confidence to work with watercolours, in what looks like such an understated and minimalist way is in fact incredibly difficult and takes experience and knowledge. These paintings are imbued with the freshness, light and air of Shetland and often hold a meditative calmness.

They may not be instantly recognisable locations but by recreating the essences of Shetland they are more personal and familiar. "

The exhibition runs from 18th May - 30th June 2013. For further information please contact John Hunter at the Shetland Museum and Archives on 01595 741559 or

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