The Conversation

26th August 2021 – 16th October 2021

Preview Saturday 28th August 2021 ​12.00am – 3.30pm

Join us for the preview and meet the Artist, Peter R Coates     

Workshops on street – Saturday 4th September 2021

Peter R Coates began work on The Conversation three years ago after a bereavement – like many, trying to understand the loss.  The works are influenced by the relationship between grief and religion with Peter noting:

“Religious ideas have been with me for some time now. I find people who believe, seem to be stronger in dealing with certain subjects.”

Upon the suggestion that reading the bible may help him with his grief, Peter found himself watching religious history shows too, which in turn inspired him to create this new body of work.  These works consider how we may interact with religion and how we interact with one another today; how people treat one another and perhaps how in life we may take advantage of the everyday.

Peter’s sculptural works portray various biblical stories and demonstrate how they are dealt with in our contemporary society.  His paintings reveal a conversation that is more in keeping with grief – compositions of objects that represent memories or questions of sentimental value.  The still life paintings have echoes to the 16th – 18th century style of renowned painters to the Flemish and Spanish still life painting, notably Claesz, Sanchez, Goya.  While the connection with this still life painting is unmistakeable, Peter has mastered and developed a visual language of his own.

Peter uses a variety of mediums in his work.  For The Conversation, the exhibition includes his sculptural pieces.  Peter spends many hours collecting items that are discarded by others.  The items are repurposed in his studio to create 3 – dimensional paintings in the style of his oil still – life.  Wood, toys, notes, chairs, iconography, are all consumed and brought to back to life within a new sculptural composition.

Although the subject of grief and belief may be considered as a complex subject, Peter adds humour with combinations of found objects taking on new identities, making it easier for us to arrive at The Conversation.


Peter R Coates has lived in East Hull for most of his life.  He has produced sculpture and artwork in collaboration with Studio Eleven for their Freedom Festival projects, and, notably has the ‘Grabs’ sculpture on the Green Port Hull Public Right-of-Way Sculpture Trail.  After attending several part – time courses in art, Peter enrolled as a mature student on the BA Contemporary Fine Art degree at Hull School of Art and Design and graduated with 1st class honours in 2010. 

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