Renowned for his critical eye, it can take years for Peryer to perfect an image and his output has been comparatively small and slow - something he now sees as a consequence of working with film and the silver gelatin process, rather than artistic temperament. The arrival of the digital camera and printer transformed his practice, allowing him to play with colour and scale and to move rapidly from concept to finished art work. Starkwhite

Originally a teacher, Peter Peryer had a degree in English and a Masters in Education. Born in 1941, it was not until his 30’s that he took up photography which for many years now has been his sole occupation.

In 1998 he had a major exhibition and publication in Germany called Second Nature. This exhibition toured in Germany and Australia.

Peter Peryer was the recipient of several awards including an ONZM for his contribution to photography. He was also a Fulbright Scholar, which enabled him to continue studying his medium 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.

Peter work regularly appears in books and magazines. During 2008 images of his were seen on the television series The Big Picture, hosted by Hamish Keith. He also spent a year in Alexandra 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.

Peter kept a journal online. This blog not only showed his new work but gives insights into his practice. His last blog entry (from 2013) is titled Under Water.

It begins...

"Tomorrow I go to Fiji. It's not really a holiday,

I'm not sure if I take holidays. It's primarily

a trip to see what new photos I can find,

I would be happy with just one, it's always like 

that for me."

Peter passed away on Sunday 18th November, 2018. He was 77.

 

 Peter Peryer makes a presentation at a Laureates On-Stage event,
held at the Auckland Art Gallery in 2006.  Image on screen - Self-potrait 1977

 

Video

2000
Profile of leading contemporary New Zealand photographer Peter Peryer, produced by the Arts Foundation for its Laureate Awards ceremony in 2000.
Peter Peryer, in collaboration with PhotoForum as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography - Wednesday 15 june 2011
1941
Born in Auckland
1972
Graduated (MA Education) University of Auckland
1977
The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt mounted first retrospective of his work
1978
Study tour of Europe and America (QEII Arts Council grant)
1995
First international exhibition Second Nature: Peter Peryer Photographs
1997
New Zealand Order of Merit
2000
Arts Foundation Laureate Award
2001
Two significant exhibitions, Erika and The Left Hand Raised
2002
Showed work at the Heide Museum of Contemporary Art in Melbourne
2007
William Hodges Fellowship