Artist Walker prefers physical aspect of tactile art.
Visual artist Peter Walker, whose artwork is inspired by the physical and esoteric Utah landscape, likes working with resin and paints because he can feel the project taking shape.
"I’m a very tactile person," Walker said during an interview from his house in Los Angeles, Calif. "Being removed from the medium is cumbersome to me."
Some of his textured works will comprise "Peter Walker: DiachronicScapes," which will be displayed at the Kimball Art Center’s Badami Gallery beginning, Saturday, May 28. The exhibit will run through July 24.
"DiachronicScapes" is a combination of words that mean "the dynamic relationship between people and place over time," Walker said. The connection isn’t just topographical, but cultural and historical.
"All the works I do are dependent on where I’m living or what I’ve experienced," he said. "The art is also contingent on an emotional connection to place.
"When I visited New York, I felt an immediate bond and was able to create some pieces," he said. "The same thing happened when I moved to San Francisco to study for my masters.
"Now, I’ve lived in Los Angeles for eight months, but I haven’t been able to connect with anything, yet," he said. "We’ll see what time will bring, because sometimes my art isn’t a result of a big epiphany. Sometimes I follow it until it develops."
Walker’s style has continued to evolve since his days as an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University.
"At BYU I started painting landscapes from an aerial perspective, but the more I worked, the more material I used and the more dimensional it becomes," he said. "Most of the paintings are definite and represent a specific place in Utah."
Walker, who obtained his masters from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008, builds up a textured scene with resin and then applies paint and other markings that finish his works.
"A lot of the time, I’m molding and manipulating with my hands before I pick up a brush," he said. "So the works are hybrids of painting and sculpture, which goes back to the fact that I need to interact with the material."
The nature of resin is very unforgiving, which poses a challenge, he said.
"It’s not like painting where you can paint over a mistake," he said. "You have to have a plan. Once you put that layer of resin down, you’ve basically archived it, never to be changed. So there is a lot of forethought that goes into it."
Still, Walker finds he enjoys the times when he sees a mistake.
"To me, they represent a layer of experience," he said. "It’s like life. You can’t run from our past, but you can build on it. It’s something a lot of people can connect to."
Walker’s connection with visual art began when he was a pre-law student at BYU.
"I was an English major, who had done art all his life," he said. "Shortly before taking the LSAT, I decided it wasn’t the path I wanted to take."
Walker was three-months away from graduation and still taking art classes when some of his professors asked him what he was going to do with his art.
"I told them I was planning on it being a hobby and they said if I wanted to do more than that, they would accommodate me.
Even after he graduated with his degree in art, Walker didn’t know what he wanted to do.
"I got a day job and every day I got home, I went straight to my painting, wondering what I was going to do with my life," he said with a laugh. "About a year later, I asked myself why I was fighting something I clearly wanted to do. So I quit the day job and started painting full time and sent applications to graduate school."
"Peter Walker: DiachronicScapes," will be on display at in the Kimball Art Center’s Badami Gallery, 638 Park Ave., from Saturday, May 28 through July 24. Walker will be the featured artist for the monthly Gallery Stroll on Friday, May 27, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Art Center. Admission is free.
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