The paintings are a response to a journey through China undertaken in October of 2010. Along with 7 other artists and one critic, Peter Gardener travelled out to Chengdu, via Pingyao and Xian, then down to Chongqing. They then caught a slow boat down the Yangtze, stopping in Wuhan and on to Shanghai. By the time they returned to Beijing they had been travelling for 5 weeks, hard sleeping in trains and staying in hostels. For Australian artists, the trip was like a journey to another planet, and they had 3 weeks in a studio at Beigao to produce a group exhibition for Red Gate gallery who had overseen the journey.
Such was the overwhelming nature of the trip and their experiences the production of a show in such a short turn around was always going to be a gamble. Once Peter Gardiner found himself in the studio however, the work just poured out of him. The simple idea of focusing on the pagodas and temples he had witnessed and drawn allowed him to construct a framework that he could pour his experiences into. Peter Gardiner painted sixteen large works in three weeks, the birth of a body of work he will be producing for sometime to come as China sorts itself out in his head. These works are now on show at Imagine Gallery for Peter Gardiner’s first Solo exhibition in China.