The interconnectedness of all things

Hepburn Springs artist Peter Tyndall is pictured with some of the work in his latest exhibition Sinclair + Gallery at CAM. This year the artist marks five decades of incredible art.

A new exhibition by renowned Hepburn Springs artist Peter Tyndall is currently on show at Castlemaine Art Museum.

The Express recently caught up with Tyndall to discuss his latest work.

Tyndall said that when he was invited to exhibit at CAM he had planned to continue to extend on the themes of his most recent exhibitions.

But that changed when he visited CAM’s ‘Sinclair Gallery’.

Intrigued and inspired by the unique corner-cut gallery chamber, the artist decided to focus the exhibition around the space itself.

Tyndall said the exhibition happened to coincide the 50th anniversary of his first exhibition.

“I originally commenced my studies in architecture. My parents were very traditional and wanted me to attend university and pursue a career that would set me up for the future. There were no artists in the family,” he said.

After two years of study, Tyndall bravely decided to take a year off to explore whether he could make it as an artist.
His first exhibition was an outstanding success and he never looked back.

“My parents were nervous for me to take that step but they backed me all the way and were very supportive,” he said.

In the five decades since, he has exhibited across Australia and the globe and his work is featured in galleries across the country.

The artist’s latest exhibition links back to his origins and architectural training and takes in the unusual diagonal corners of the gallery, the rectangular skylight divided into smaller squares that infuse the room with “sun, stars, moon and cloud” and the gridded vents.

A plinth stands in the centre of the room, echoing the diagonal walls that surround it, and atop the plinth stands an unusual modern contraption – a potato chip cutter – the blades of which mirror the shape of the ceiling above. This is an acknowledgement of the yam daisy or murnong that the Irish recognised grew in soil similar to the potato.

The work also gives a nod to artists who feature diagonals in their work, including German artists Polke and Beuys, Australian artist Tillers and New Zealand Artist McMahon, and pays homage to Australia’s first female public gallery director Beth Sinclair after whom the gallery is named.

“The Anglo-French name Clair means clear, light and bright. The exhibition Sinclair + Gallery is intended as a place dedicated to seeing clearly,” the artist said.

The work began as 50 to 100 sketches exploring the space, angles and incorporating symbolism such as the cross from the Sinclair family crest. The artist then took up the paintbrush and painstakingly reproduced his favoured pieces on canvas.

Tyndall said the installation celebrates the interconnectedness of all things – the sky and the earth and everything in between.

The artist said it had been wonderful to have an exhibition so close to home and to be able to share the experience with his friends who may have been unable to attend exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and beyond.

“It has also been fantastic to welcome friends and curators from Sydney and Adelaide to the local gallery,” he said.

Sinclair + Gallery will be featured at Castlemaine Art Museum through to July 10. CAM is open Thursday 12-4pm, Friday 12-6.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 12-4pm. Entry is free.

Peter Tyndall is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery.