Peter Tilley

(b. 1946. Williamston, VIC, Australia)

First exhibiting with Brenda May in 1989, Peter Tilley’s relationship with the Gallery is enduring. After studying Ceramics (1973-75) and receiving a Certificate of Art (1978-79) from Newcastle School of Art & Design, Tilley completed a Master of Philosophy (Fine Art) at Newcastle University (2008-10) and spent four years working on his PhD at the same institution (2015-18). In 2018 the resulting body of work from his PhD was shown at The University Gallery in Newcastle, followed by a very well-received exhibition at MAY SPACE. At the beginning of 2016, Peter Tilley had solo and collaborative work on view at Newcastle Art Gallery in A Dirty Business with Andy Devine and Andrew Styan. 2014 saw the start of Peter Tilley and Andy Devine’s joint exhibition Black Harvest, which travelled to Moree Plains Gallery, Cessnock Regional Art Gallery, Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre and Manly Art Gallery and Museum, until 2016. This collaboration has also seen their work win the 2016 Acquisitive Newcastle Club Foundation Painting Prize.  

Over the last few years Tilley has been curated into some notable exhibitions, including Memoranda at the University of Newcastle (2018), The Phantom Show at Newcastle Art Gallery (2017), Highlights from the MRAG Collection at Maitland Regional Art Gallery (2016), and Visible Storage at Artbank in Sydney (2015). In both 2015 and 2014, Tilley’s impressive sculptures won the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens Sculpture Prize. 2014 also marked Tilley’s tenth year as an exhibitor in Sculpture by the Sea, establishing him as part of the decade club. His pensive figures have become an iconic feature of this annual event.  

Tilley has had over thirty solo exhibitions, including a collaborative venture with Lezlie Tilley titled Parallel & Crossovers: An Artistic Relationship. Curated by Anthony Bond, OAM, who was then the Curator at the AGNSW, this exhibition toured New South Wales from 2000 - 2001. It was on view at Maitland City Art Gallery, Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, Manning Regional Art Gallery, New England Region Art Museum, Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery and Access Contemporary Art Gallery. He is represented in a multitude of collections including those of Arts ACT, Artbank, University of Newcastle, Newcastle Art Gallery, Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery, Maitland City Art Gallery and Muswellbrook Regional Gallery, among others. Tilley's work is also in private collections in Denmark and across Australia.