Peter Indans artwork finds a home in Rockhampton Museum of Art

Published on 19 March 2021


A work by noted Central Queensland artist Peter Indans has made its way back home to the region from the UK and will become part of Rockhampton Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

The work Life Drawing (1980) has been donated by UK based artist / writer and close friend of the artist, Bryan Trueman.

Peter Indans, who passed away in 2011, was one of Australia’s most celebrated and collectable artists, with many of his works selling virtually as soon as he completed them.

The work joins several other Peter Indans pieces already held in the collection of Rockhampton Museum of Art.

Born of Latvian parentage in 1947 in a displaced persons camp in Germany, Peter Indans’ painting, drawing and prints revealed influences from classical, neo-classical and modern arts movements, along with his European heritage, geological sciences and cartography.

He came to Australia as a very small boy alone with his mother as his father had already left for Australia. He experienced the life that many young migrant children would have in Australia in the early 1950s.

An accomplished artist, Peter studied under Karlis Mednis in Melbourne between 1960 and 1964, and also trained as a secondary art teacher, as well as obtaining a secondary teaching certificate.

He held solo and joint exhibitions throughout Australia, and his works are represented in permanent collections of a number of galleries.

Peter was employed as a lecturer by the Central Queensland Institute of TAFE.

Life drawing MB edits_800px_Vis6.jpg

Donor of the work, Bryan Trueman, said:

"Peter, during his student years, was influenced by the bohemian culture of artists, writers, musicians and the ‘mud brick/adobe’ architectural movement and creation in the shire of Eltham, Victoria where I too was living. This small rural enclave of North East Melbourne was a vibrant “melting pot” of creativity and eccentricity where many of Australia’s finest artists found fellowship and inspiration. (Home to Montsalvat, Australia’s oldest continuously active artists’ community; a place Peter frequented.)

“Among the young artists to visit Montsalvat were George Chalmers, Albert Tucker, Arthur Boyd, Clifton Pugh, Roy Opie, Mervyn Skipper, Matcham Skipper, Helen Skipper, Sonia Skipper, Lesley Sinclair, Betty Rowland, Alistair Knox, Arthur Munday, Helen Lempriere and Joe Hannan.

“Peter and I experienced a ‘meeting of minds’ when I was a resident artist in Rockhampton in 1980 and we remained friends.

“We exchanged several pieces of work and I think this work (being donated to Rockhampton Museum of Art) encapsulates what he (Peter Indans) was all about…scale, energy, confident minimalistic mark making.

“He was a man of perpetual energy and ideas…the ‘tank’ never ran dry…as fast as he exported them to paper, canvas, to his students and his friends they were supplemented and replenished by a fresh flow of creative ideas.

“He was an ‘arms length’ exponent of putting conté crayon to paper and paint onto canvas. Each sweeping stroke was placed with conviction and energy.

“From his black and white drawings to his magnificent orchestration of colour and hues on his canvas...he was unapologetic for the marks that he left behind for us all to enjoy.

“He was non materialistic, he was a deep thinker and like many driven artists his life was all too short. He lived life to the full and left us all with a prolific body of work best viewed in Rockhampton Museum of Art, for all to see, as this part of the world was his ‘beach’ and where he found himself’,” Mr Trueman said

Rockhampton Regional Council Community Services Portfolio Spokesperson Cr Drew Wickerson thanked Mr Trueman for the donation.

“It’s great to have this work ‘back home’ here in Rockhampton Region, and I thank Mr Trueman for his donation.

“The donation of Life Drawing (1980) is all the more exciting because of the provenance and history that Mr Trueman has provided with the artwork which certainly adds depth to compliment the beauty of the piece itself,” he said

“I had the privilege to work with Peter Indans on a number of printing projects and I am very pleased to see that this work, become part of the permanent collection of Rockhampton Museum of Art, and accessible for the community to experience when it opens in late 2021.

Rockhampton Museum of Art is funded by the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund; the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and through the Building Our Regions program; and Rockhampton Regional Council.