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About

About the work.

On the surface Peter Breeden's paintings present an appealing affirmation -look at this!- and a world of solidity where light plays over the landscape. Yet they often portray places that appear abandoned, where beauty can feel like emptiness and serenity turn to doubt.

A restless seeking and questioning goes on behind the apparent calm: why are you here? What do you mean? This is an art that refuses to make glib statements. If life is uncertain and complex, Breeden seems to say, then art needs to be too.
Biography.

Like David Cameron and Boris Johnson I was educated at Eton. This means that nobody likes me. Sartre said that 'Hell is other people', so perhaps it doesn't matter much. My mother was a prima ballerina. In his autobiography Frederick Ashton said she danced like a summer thunderstorm. My father was a serious minded engineer and industrialist. When I paint I feel that a somewhat tempestuous inner life is being censored through an engineer's cautious logic. When I was fifteen I decided that I wanted to be an artist. So I trained to be a solicitor. At thirty two I found the courage to buy a tube of paint and started. I like to read and listen to classical music. The book I revisit most is 'A La Recherche du temps perdu'. Perdu means lost, but it also has a secondary meaning of wasted. In Search of Time Wasted. I know that one. Memory is very important to me. I am scarcely able to start a painting without memory or the sensation of memory. I have recurrent feelings of failure. The philosopher E.M.Cioran wrote: 'the man who has tendencies towards an inner quest...will set failure above any success, he will even seek it out. This is because failure, always essential, reveals us to ourselves as God sees us, whereas success distances us from is what is most inward in ourselves and indeed in everything.' I used to be influenced by other painters, but not so much now. I am interested in the skies I live under and the ground under my feet. An increasing sense of being rooted in Englishness and the English tradition. My favourite piece of music is Vaughan Williams' 'An Oxford Elegy'. His rarely heard or aired masterpiece.