Peter Towse has been creating provocative art for thirty five years. For the last ten of these he has quite deliberately chosen to develop a body of work that flies in the face of mainstream contemporary art practice.
In a sense this work is very old fashioned, yet shocking and modern in its challenge to current cultural values. The work sets out to capture and interpret the many spiritual sources that have inspired Peter; his interest in Buddhism and the experience of working with a Tibetan community of craftspeople in northern India over recent years have given him a unique and very personal creative process using meditation, celebration and creation. His is a singular visual expedition, a pilgrim's journey.
Towse uses an eclectic mix of materials to make his magic. Universal natural forms of shells, precious and semi-precious stones, bones, barley seeds and translucent metal fabrics are juxtaposed with classic western icons of femininity, ladies fashioned stockings, flirty umbrellas and swansdown powder puffs. With these he creates fantasy temples, stupas, mandalas, funeral pyres and explores the symbolism of chakras.
The titles of his work can be deceptively simple – just descriptions of the materials used. The real titles are secret mantras hidden deep in the artworks themselves. Sometimes the poems that have provided the inspiration accompany the pieces.
Many of these works have been made and re–made over the last ten years as ideas have been developed, discarded, reborn and refined. The work is often sumptuous, detailed and decorative; at a deeper level unsettling and intriguing, yet ultimately centred and spiritually enriching.
These ideas, images and emotions are now presented for all to contemplate.