Peta West is a practicing contemporary Australian printmaker whose work taps into the sublimity of her surrounding environment on the South Coast of New South Wales. Working primarily with linoleum, Peta West creates immersive large-scale prints that beguile audiences with their intricate detailing and depth. West’s prints are worlds unto their own, each a self-contained universe, where plants and animals appear in abundance. They are odes to the natural beauty and resilience of the Australian bush.
Prior to printmaking, Peta West was a photographer for over two decades, a medium which allowed her to develop an eye for composition, depth and balance. This initial training in darkrooms forever instilled in her a love for monochrome, as well as the tactile process of working an image out of a medium.
2020, West was a finalist in the Arts in the Valley Art Prize, Kangaroo Valley. In the following year, 2021, she was a finalist in both The Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize and the Burnie Print Prize.
2022 West was again a finalist in the Arts in the Valley Art Prize, Kangaroo Valley. West was a finalist in the 2022 Waverly Art Prize, where she was awarded the Mayors Prize, Highly Commended, for This is Yuin Country (2021).
West continues this trend in 2023 again being a finalist for the Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize, The Waverly Art Prize where she was awarded the Peoples Choice Award and The Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award. She was also selected to be part of “Botanica de Materia Medica” an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, NSW.
Peta West’s largest piece to date “Biophilia.” 2023
Comprising of five panels and spanning 2.5 meters, the artwork is a testament to West’s creativity. Each panel intricately depicts the profound connection between humans and the natural world. With meticulous attention to detail, West’s prints weave together organic forms and delicate textures, drawing viewers into a captivating visual narrative. “Biophilia” invites contemplation of our place within the vast ecosystem, as viewers eyes travel the length of the artwork. Through her printmaking techniques, Peta West creates an immersive experience, leaving a lasting impression on all who encounter work.
In the context of art, the term “biophilia” can also refer to artworks that explore and celebrate the connection between humans and the natural world, often depicting elements of nature or evoking a sense of harmony and awe inspired by the natural environment.
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