Peter Godwin ‘Nothing is ever quite the same’




40 pages of writing and colour photography of artworks in the Peter Godwin ‘Nothing is Ever Quite the Same’ exhibition at Messums London in July 2024, including an essay by Gallery Director and Australian art specialist Kaya Clarkson.


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From 3 July – 3 August at Messums London there will be a presentation of new work by Peter Godwin, an eminent Australian artist who is being honoured with a major retrospective this year at Orange Regional Gallery, New South Wales, followed by an exhibition at the public art institution, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney. This is a rare opportunity to see Godwin’s paintings in the UK. The last presentation of his work in the UK was at Nevill Keating McIlroy Gallery, London in 2009.

Peter Godwin’s studio

The presence of Peter Godwin’s work at Messums, and its ability to connect to a new audience, is indicative of growing interest in the UK around artists whose handling of paint has developed a more expressive figurative language where the marks and the means of application drive the narrative rather than what is depicted visually on the surface. It is in keeping with the direction of Messums ORG to continue to support emerging artists as well as those from areas perhaps not as well exposed in London and specifically to highlight painting from Australia.

The return of Peter Godwin to London in 2024 is with series of paintings painted for the occasion. In these works, we immediately see the interior space here as the framework for a much larger enquiry. Godwin’s devotion to his subject matter is part of the iterative nature of his practice, the forms and the content providing the support of familiarity and means of new inspiration. With this body of work we see the familiar motifs – a Mendi shield, a maquette, the Hokusai moon – representative of hundreds of moments from Godwin’s life, used as tools for the exploration of painting. Each object has its own idiosyncrasies and his intimate relationship with these motifs gives ground for a realm of new creative discoveries that enquire further into the profound.

Peter Godwin is a graduate of the National Art School in Sydney and subsequently lectured in painting, drawing and printmaking at the school for many years. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Gruner Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1979 and 1985, the Mosman Art Prize in 2017, a finalist in the Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Salon de Refuses at the SH Erwin Gallery Sydney in 2023. His work is held in public collections across Australia, notably at the National Gallery of Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Government House, Sydney; Gosford Regional Art Gallery; Sydney Institute of Technology Collection; Parliament House, Canberra and Mosman Art Gallery.

Messums is dedicated to furthering understanding the language of Australian Expressionism. Acknowledging the founding of Abstract Expressionism in America and its emergence in Northern Europe, these ongoing series of representations and enquiries including a section on Australian Expressionism led by Joanna Capon at the Painting symposium on the 27 July at Messums West, continue to consider what key components are the differentiators to painting from this part of the world.



Peter Godwin

- Present ]
A graduate of the National Art School in Sydney, Peter Godwin lectured in painting, drawing and printmaking at the school for many years. He was awarded the Gruner Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1979 and again in 1985. He has been a recipient of the Mosman Art Prize and was a finalist in the Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. A major survey of Godwin’s work is sche

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