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  • Writer's pictureRachel Goodchild

Peter Swan: 50 years of painting

50 Years of painting starting with the first exhibition at the Arnolfini


Yesterday the latest issue of The Bristol Magazine dropped on my doormat. The front cover was celebrating 50 years of the Bristol Arnolfini (one of Bristol's Art Galleries). There was a selection of images from the last 50 years amongst which was one of the Arnolfini's first exhibitions in 1961. This had a particular meaning to me as the paintings in that first exhibition were by my father Peter Swan. That particular exhibition in 1961 featured the drawings of Josef Herman and the paintings of my father Peter Swan. All my father's paintings from that exhibition have long since sold, but we do still have photographs around. Nevertheless it was lovely to see it again in print, many years later. The twins in the paintings below are my brother and sister, Stephen and Joanna, and the 'Mother' in the bottom painting is my Mum.


The Arnolfini used to be housed in a converted warehouse on Triangle West at the top of Park Street. My father was 25 years old at the time and the Arnolfini's Opening Exhibition was to be his first exhibition.


Years later in 1975 the Arnolfini moved to where it remains today, on the waterfront. I was 11 years old then, and have fond memories of playing around the gallery and outside on the water's edge with my brothers and sister whilst my father was in the Arnolfini hanging his paintings for exhibitions over the years.


50 Years of the Anofini, Bristol
50 Years of the Anofini
'Twins with Tricycles' by Peter Swan RWA, 1960 - 30" x 36" - oil on canvas
'Twins with Tricycles' by Peter Swan RWA, 1960 - 30" x 36" - oil on canvas
'Twins with Toys' by Peter Swan RWA, 1960 - 30" x 36" - oil on canvas
'Twins with Toys' by Peter Swan RWA, 1960 - 30" x 36" - oil on canvas
The Arnolfini Exhibition Programme, 1961
The Arnolfini Exhibition Programme, 1961
Newspaper Article about the the Arnolfini's first Exhibition and Opening, 1961
Newspaper Article about the the Arnolfini's first Exhibition and Opening, 1961
Newspaper Article of the Arnolfini opening, 1961
Newspaper Article of the Arnolfini opening, 1961
50 Years of the Arnolfini
Viewing Peter Swan's Paintings

Peter swan in his studio 1960s
Peter swan in his studio 1960s

Peter Swan was born in 1936.

He trained at Somerset College of Art, Taunton: 1953 - 1955

St Martins School of Art: 1955 - 1957, NDD Painting

Institute of Education, London University: 1958 -1959, ATD


To see more of Peter swan's Paintings, view his website here


 

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