Peter Winstanley Oriel Mon Exhibition Interview

by Sue Beesley
(Anglesey Informer)

Sue Beesley: So Peter, you are exhibiting with photographer Stephen Bone and potter Oldrich Attenborough in a three-man show at Oriel Mon this April. This sounds like an unusual mix, how did it come about?

Peter Winstanley: Well Sue, yes, I think it is a little out of the ordinary. This is the first Oriel Mon exhibition for all of us, although I have shown regularly here in Wales as well at London and Kent.

Oldrich was born and trained in the former Czechoslovakia and has lived and worked in Wales for most of his life.

He has built an international reputation for his ceramics with pieces in museums and collections throughout Europe.

He owns a beautiful pottery at Sarn on the Lleyn.

Stephen has been in passionate photographer all his life. He regularly goes to the Notting Hill and Edinburgh festivals, and working mostly in black and white, produces beautiful images of people.

Sue Beesley: But what brought such diverse artists together to hold this exhibition?

Peter Winstanley: Well, there is a great deal of demand for the space at Oriel Mon, and when I was offered a show this April I felt it was a brilliant opportunity.

I also knew that I couldn't manage a solo show in a year, as well as fulfil my existing gallery commitments.

So I suggested I did a joint show, and thought that it might be interesting to juxtapose three very different media.

I knew both Stephen and Oldrich and that we have the same commitment to craft, and that the extreme diversity of our work was a strength and would look startling together.

Aldridge's beautifully decorated, three dimensional pots are highly textural and can be utilitarian objects.

Stephen's framed monochrome prints are fabulous and richly toned images of great serenity, while my paintings are richly coloured pastoral landscapes that include figurative work, seascapes and a few retrospective paintings.

Sue Beesley: You haven't always been a painter,Peter, in fact, I believe you have had a rather varied career. What brought you to painting?

Peter Winstanley: Well, I was taught to paint in oils as a child and won various competitions and exhibited in the 1966 National Children's Art exhibition, organised by the Daily Mirror.

Eventually I ended up studying science at A-level and came to Wales to read Agricultural Botany at Bangor University.

I loved it here and stayed on after my degree, making a living, firstly as a greengrocer, before starting a strawberry farm with my wife Pam.

We diversified into nursery stock, selling our produce through Pentraeth Nurseries which became a popular and thriving business.

I always thought that I would eventually paint again and with the turn of the new millennium, I finally got going, working in the evenings and at weekends.

In 2002 we sold the business and I have been painting full-time since. I am lucky in that the work is accessible and sells well in galleries. So I have been able to earn a living from what I love to do.

Sue Beesley: Well, good luck. I look forward to seeing the fruits of all this hard work!

Peter Winstanley: Thank you, Sue. Yes, it has been a huge amount of work. The pressure has been good for me!

I hope that we have ended that with a show that people will really enjoy. The opening is at 7 p.m. on Friday the 11th of April at the Oriel Mon and Llangefni, and everyone will be welcome.

I will be opening the show with a short introductory talk. I really hope that people will want to come, especially if they don't normally consider going to an art exhibition.

It can be great fun. Come along and see what you think, I hope you will be pleasantly surprised! If you can't make it to the opening, the exhibition runs until the 18th May.

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