The Pit

Peter Booth

Peter Booth The Pit
The Pit by Peter Booth


Peter Booth
The Pit
oil on canvas
30.5 x 36 cm

“And while air, fire and water function in his art like the humours of ancient medicine, raging through cold days and hot nights, destroying forms, scouring surfaces or finally settling on the Earth’s crust in the light of a mystical cosmos, the treatment of these elements attests to Booth’s stylistic range and skill.” (Helen McDonald, Peter Booth: Small Paintings, Melbourne, 1995, p.3)

The intimate scale of this painting invites the viewer to consider as though through a window and allows for a close up examination, revealing the intensity of the thick textural strokes of paint. The turbulence of the image is heightened by the vivid use of yellow and orange against the stark black and grey landscape. The bleakness reinforced by the ladder, a symbol of escape, now aflame.

Booth’s work has been described as “split between the day-time world of close observation and the subconscious, turbulent world of dreams.” (John McDonald, Dreams of Hope and Menace, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 March 1995, p.13) The focus of his artwork is an intersection between the human condition; the natural world; experience and intuition; knowledge and imagination, drawing on a range of influences – personal; historical; artistic; environmental. He was the subject of a retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2003 and is represented in collections around the world, including all the major state galleries in Australia, as well as many regional and university collections.

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the artist

Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne, 1995

private collection, Melbourne


Peter Booth Small Paintings 1992 – 1995, Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne, 15 June – 8 July 1995, cat. no. 17