Since 1970, Peter Powning has lived and worked as an artist in the hills of southern New Brunswick. His life is characterized by intense periods of work preparing for exhibitions and commissions, punctuated by periodic travel. While Powning’s award-winning work is shown internationally, it is imbued with qualities distilled from a life lived close to the silence, space and seasonal rhythms of his home, the fields, forests and shorelines of Canada’s east coast.
Peter Powning is married to author Beth Powning.
Peter (right) in conversation with John Leroux at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery
Listen to interviews with Peter about the book
▷ CBC Radio: Shift – NB
▷ CBC Radio – Information Morning: St. John
This is a link to a discussion with John Leroux with Peter and Beth Powning about the book. It’s from a book launch on Zoom complete with unexplained silences and various glitches but encapsulates not only a personal discussion about life as artists but also the technical peculiarities resulting from trying to carry on in the midst of a pandemic. The sound disappears for a minute or so at one point but does come back.
Sculpture and fusion
Beyond mastering time-honoured sculpture techniques and materials, Powning is an acknowledged innovator in craft processes and execution of form. While the arc of his visual language can be read from his early 1970s stoneware through to the radical fusions and huge sculptures of today, the sheer extent of his experimentation and aesthetic daring is staggering. It is rare that one can feel an artist’s lifetime of curiosity so palpably, but taking in even a fraction of Powning’s production leaves little doubt that it is the quest of invention and improvisation that drives him.
“A pleasure to read, and the perfect coffee table book to showcase inventive New Brunswick art.”
— Maritime[EDIT] magazine
“The book is much more than a usual exhibition catalogue: its bilingual text and images of the work, most photographed by Powning himself, offer a rare, intimate glimpse into a life devoted to the pursuit of a multi-disciplined practice.”
— Carol Bruneau, Billie