Peter McFarlane

14 x 22 x 6 in.
$4,000 CAD

8 x 25 x 4 in.
$4,000 CAD

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Peter McFarlane


To me, waste is just lack of imagination. This belief carries beyond the boundaries of my art production and permeates most aspects of my life. Most of my home and studio, and much of everything in them, is recycled. I've always had an epic imagination along with a driving desire to make things. Thus, used objects have pared my options down to a workable, manageable level. No object is beyond artistic merit, meaning and metaphor. So why throw it out? The materials of my work are connected intrinsically to my ideas, be they tailored beyond recognition or left as found. Each piece I make resurrects an object as an idea specific to the material and the meaning inherent in its use. The history of the object — from the manufacture to the dumpster — embellishes its contexts and the possibilities I have to manipulate them. I have often made a connection with the objects that I've used in my everyday life or work experience: that which I know.

Sometimes I have tried to restore the landscape by removing objects from one environment and placing them in another: a recycling of objects and meaning, of "landscrap" into landscape. Either way, the object comes clad in its history, and sits in its own metaphorical world. When the object is removed to this new place, I can thereby underscore how fluid, how provisional, those meanings are. What inevitably fascinates me is the process of transformation itself. Connections are implied, broken, renegotiated; metaphors jostle for attention; meanings accumulate, piling up above one another without any of them being squeezed out. The smallest strand of scrap wire can have meaning if properly placed. I’m astounded and often appalled by the enormity, variety and volume of the new and used manufactured materials and natural objects which are available to me. Yet this abundance is the inspirational heart of my work. The conceptual approach is in a reciprocal relationship with the material. And though my work does not dent the waste created by the ever-present demand for the new, it has helped me justify this creative passion. I view these works, in part, as an attempt to slow the process down, if only symbolically. Yet with this creative transformation, one is forced to be present with the idea and yet also connect to the familiar. Still, the theme remains: something new is once again recycled from the old meanings that consciousness has left behind but not forgotten.


2017 Steffich Fine Art 25 Anniversary show
2017 Robert Bateman Centre
2017 Salt Spring National Art Prize
2017 Bau-Xi Gallery, SNAP Show Winners Exhibition
2016 JOY, Canada House Gallery, Banff, AB


Banff Centre
Royal Bank
Montana Steele Strategic Marketing
CIBC Wood Gundy
Canada Council Art Bank
Bartec Fire Systems
Shaw Communications
Ontario Science Centre
Salt Spring Fire Dept