Many of Peter Walker’s paintings may be seen to capture the quality of a study or sketch as if ready to become a piece of large scale sculpture or as if they are a blueprint for an invention. Yet this seemingly primitive and raw quality of his painting is an intentional statement. Despite having the ability to paint realistic and naturalistic pieces the artist here pursues to encourage the viewer to see more than the obvious. In these examples Peter Walker is capturing the essence and structure of the anatomy of a horse, showing that beyond muscle and flesh is power, industrial strength, and character that lies underneath. Through the creative use of line and abstraction of form, the picture retains enough information to decipher its subject and yet also shows the many other ways we can view a living creature, showing its prowess, weakness, and life. Through restructuring and breaking down into basic lines of suggestion, often humorously, the artist makes a statement about a human beings own weakness to underestimate that which they see and often mistakenly judge.
“Before the invention of the television, radio and mass printing, ideas were communicated primarily through the key art forms of painting, sculpture and tapestries. Their purpose was to tell stories. For example a portrait sitter would not only be shown to look a certain way the painting would also depict important things about them such as if they were scientific, trades people, religious or royal, the painting would feature elements which communicated to their audience their position in society. In many respects all paintings until the late 19th century were allegorical communicating an idea, message or story. Modern media has replaced much of this requirement. Many of my paintings continue in this tradition presenting allegories, but the nature of those allegories has changed from presenting ideas about status or confirming political ideas to presenting concepts, which are poetic, philosophical, and psychological. For example the painting ‘designing a horse for Joan of Arc’ is obviously not looking to paint a perfect warhorse it is more concerned with the story of Joan of Arc’s life. Joan of Arc’s absence in the painting is as important as the image which is shown.” Peter Walker, 2015