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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

PETER RIPPON (article first published : 2004-02-22)

Peter Rippon is a Durban painter who is finishing his Master’s degree at the Durban Institute of Technology. His show, True Life Story, will be on soon at artSPACE durban. He mostly paints detailed still-lifes of strangely juxtaposed objects, such as baked beans in assorted jars on a shelf in a medicine cabinet, or a birthday cupcake on a small bathroom basin.

This body of work deals with a variety of themes. It began with a continuation of themes he dealt with in his Bachelor Degree, themes including attitudes towards death and the medicalisation of death. Beans and Specimen specifically deal with these themes, talking about how people have become objectified by the medical industry, and how death has become depersonalised and sanitised.

His focus shifted when he began to examine that strange inner world people have inside their heads. Some of his subject matter alludes to children, or to people marginalized by society as eccentric, for their inner worlds tend to be stronger and more complex than that of “normal” adults. Although these inner worlds can be colourful and immersive, that they can also become dark, terrifying, and lonely.

The exhibition opens on February 25 at 18h00 and runs until March 16.




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