Peter Peryer turned by chance to photography in his early thirties, after being excited by a visit to a camera club. The early work that resulted, black and white images made with a plastic 'Diana' camera, had a dark moody intensity, a grainy somber expressionistic quality mixed with a compositional elegance. Peryer’s practice then became more versatile in its interests and flavours - varying in method.Read More
His photographs became not just spontaneously discovered but also carefully constructed, the setting and props planned – be they of intimate portraits of himself or his family or unpeopled landscapes. In the early eighties he began to move further beyond nature, looking at gridded architecture, machinery and other manmade objects and including more midtones, and eventually colour. These images became more overtly mediated and carefully composed, even using digital processes to assist that search for perfection.
In 1998 he had a major exhibition and publication in Germany called Second Nature, the exhibition toured in Germany and Australia. Peter Peryer has been the recipient of several awards. He has an ONZM for his contribution to photography in New Zealand and he has been a Fulbright Scholar, a grant that enabled him to travel and work in the United States.
In 2007 Peter was awarded the William Hodges Fellowship which enabled him to live in Invercargill for 4 months, resulting in an exhibition of 31 images from that period at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery in early 2008. Peryer's work regularly appears in books and magazines and during 2008 images of his were seen on the television series The Big Picture, hosted by Hamish Keith. Two thousand and eight also saw the publication of a monograph on his work and Peryer spent that same year in Alexandra, Central Otago, South Island as the second Henderson House Artist in Residence. The residency was established by philanthropists Russell & Barbara Henderson in the house that was designed for them by Austrian architect Ernst Plischke.
His works are widely collected and are held in all major New Zealand institutions, and internationally, including the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. Peryer is a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate.