Please Note: Reproduction of any image shown on this site may not be made for any reason whatsoever without the artists permission – Copyright remains with the artist. For more information, see www.copyright.com.au and www.copyright.org.au.
Peter is a confident, energetic artist who uses vibrant colours for his vigorous interpretations. They capture the glowing earthy yellows and oranges of the land and mountains, the ephemeral purples, aqua and blues of the sky and lagoons and they reflect the uniqueness of the terrain, the changes of the day and seasons and one can feel he has connections and awareness of the indigenous myths and legends of the land.
Born in 1947, Peter spent the first 10 years of his life in the Mallee town of Karoonda approximately 120kms south-east of Adelaide. He was surrounded by huge inspiring vistas and enormous skies which explains his abiding interest in the landscape, its open spaces and respect for the harmony of nature.
His career began in graphic arts excelling and winning awards in the fields of Silk Screen Printing and Signwriting but his passion and demand for his paintings eventually saw him become a full-time professional artist. He has been painting for nearly 40 years, held 67Solo Exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows. One major group show in particular was an All Australian Artists exhibition held at the prestigious Kubo-Kuxta Gallery in San Sebastian, Spain. He has also served two terms as Vice President of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts, lectured on his art and been a participant, advisor and curator of exhibitions in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan and the U.S.A. He makes regular artistic treks to many destinations in Australia and overseas. The knowledge gained of a particular area clearly assists in capturing the essence and feeling of the land as well as the colour and spirit of the place and from these journeys Peter produces several series of work.
His achievements in other areas of the arts are many, the following being just a few. In 1991 he organized and curated an exhibition held in Penang, Malaysia, of artwork of members from the Royal South Australian Society of Arts for the Adelaide/Georgetown Official Sister City, 25th Anniversary Celebration Visit with the Lord Mayor and Council Members of the City of Adelaide. One of his paintings was given as a gift to the City of Georgetown. In 2001 the Adelaide Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages chose Peter to be the first contemporary landscape artist to have two of his paintings reproduced for the Australian Commemorative Birth Certificates for the Year of the Outback. In 2005, Hollister Incorporated of Illinois U.S.A. chose one of Peter’s works to reproduce for their Christmas gift to their worldwide clients. Cairns City Council in Queensland, Australia, chose Peter’s paintings to give to two of their Sister Cities, one in 2005 to the City of Oyama in Japan as a commemorative gift for the signing of their Sister City Agreement and in 2006 one was given to the Mayor of Zhanjiang in Guangdong Province, China, for the Official Opening of the Australian designed “Friendship Gardens” in Zhanjiang.
Peter is also well-known to Film audiences as being commissioned by internationally acclaimed Australian Film Director, Rolf de Heer, to paint 14 large canvases which appear as static scenes in the Award Winning film ‘The Tracker’. (A main feature of the Adelaide Festival of Arts 2002 and the 51st Melbourne International Film Festival, also selected to participate in numerous International Film Festivals). The inclusion of original artwork in this way was a first for an Australian feature film and the process taken and images of these paintings are published in a Book and can be seen on a Documentary appearing on the DVD of the Film. Peter has also produced several documentaries which record his career in travel and painting.
Peter’s paintings reveal to us landscapes of harsh yet breath-taking beauty as he skilfully blends symbolic interpretations of mountains, wetlands, vegetation and bird life in an endeavour to convey an awareness of the delicate balance of the environment.
PUBLISHED AND/OR FEATURED IN THE FOLLOWING BOOKS/MAGAZINES:
1947 Born. Spent his first 10 years in Karoonda, South Australia.
1957 Moved to Adelaide with his family.
1963-68 Studied Graphic Arts, Sign Writing and Silk Screen Printing, Marleston Technical College. Dux of Class 1965,1966,1967,1968.
1967 Won the Sandusky Cup for Silk Screen Printing and Design.
Began participating in Group Exhibitions.
1969-1974 Worked as a Graphic Artist for the South Australian Government.
Assisted Terry Lavender, Dept. of Recreation and Sports, with the design and printing of the Heysen Trail signage.
1975-1977 Established a Graphic Design and Sign Writing business and sold it to pursue his painting career whilst continuing in Sign Writing employment.
1978 First Solo Exhibition, Coach House Gallery, Tea Tree Gully, South Australia.
1979 Began overseas travels, visiting the West Coast U.S.A, Mexico and Hawaii.
1980 Lived in, owned and managed, Olivet House Restaurant/Gallery, Stirling South Australia, sold this to again pursue his painting career.
1981-1983 Travelled to Bali, Indonesia, Tahiti, South East Asia and China.
Painting excursions to various South Australian locations, including the River Murray and Coorong National Park.
1984 Travelled to Egypt.
First Duo Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries, North Adelaide, South Australia.
1985 First Private Solo Exhibition, Highgate Hill, Toorak, Victoria.
Solo Exhibition, Le Paris Restaurant/Gallery, North Adelaide, South Australia.
1986 Travelled to Greece, Turkey, Belgium and London.
Private Solo Exhibition, South Yarra, Victoria.
Solo Exhibition, The Barn Art Gallery, McLaren Vale, South Australia.
1987 Invited to become a member of the Royal South Australia Society of Arts.
Private Solo Exhibition, Tremayne’s, Toorak, Victoria.
Solo Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries, North Adelaide, South Australia.
1988 Travelled to the Seychelles and East Africa.
Solo Exhibitions, Reade Art Gallery, Eastwood and The Barn Art Gallery, McLaren Vale, South Australia.
Painting Excursions to Kakadu, Katherine and Mataranka, Northern Territory.
1989 Painting Excursions to the Coorong and Bool Lagoon, South Australia also Cairns and surrounding areas in Queensland.
Lectured at the Southern Districts Art Society, Victor Harbour, South Australia.
1990 Solo Exhibitions, Casey Gallery, Paddington, New South Wales, Reade Art Gallery, Eastwood, South Australia and Studio Star Gallery, Darwin, Northern Territory.
Travelled U.S.A. and Canada.
Painting excursions to Bremer River and waterfall areas, Lake Eyre, Coopers Creek and surrounding areas in South Australia.
1991 Solo Exhibitions, Elgin Gallery, Carlton, Victoria, Bridge Street Gallery, Woollahra, New South Wales, Greenhill Galleries, North Adelaide, South Australia.
Painting excursions to Palmer Hills and surrounding areas in South Australia.
1992 Travelled to Bali and Lombok, Indonesia.
Solo Exhibitions, The Gallery Wall, Edgecliff, New South Wales, Reade Art Gallery, Eastwood, South Australia.
Painting excursions to The Coorong National Park and Mannum Falls and surrounding areas, South Australia.
1993 Solo Exhibition, Elgin Gallery, Carlton, Victoria.
Travelled to Bali, Indonesia.
Became an Associate Member of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts, Adelaide, South Australia.
1994 Solo Exhibition, The Barn Art Gallery, McLaren Vale, South Australia.
1995 Solo Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries, North Adelaide, South Australia and Studio Star Gallery, Darwin, Northern Territory.
Travelled to Bali, Indonesia.
1996 Became a full-time artist.
Painting Excursions to the Coorong, Murray River and Yunta areas in South Australia and Broken Hill, New South Wales.
Lectured at the Burnside Art Society, South Australia.
Elected to the Committee of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts.
Travelled to Broome, Western Australia.
1997 Participated in a Group Exhibition of Australian Artists at the Jung Yung Gallery, Jung Yung Industries Co. and Seoul Living Design Show, Korea.
50th Birthday Solo Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries, North Adelaide, South Australia.
Painting excursion through the Kimberley area, North West of Western Australia with Artists, Ingrid Windram and James Ainslie.
Curator of the “Nudes” Exhibition, Royal South Australian Society of Arts, Adelaide, South Australia.
Exhibited and travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for “Journey and Discovery” Exhibition of Selected South Australian Artists, at Galeri Petronas.
Received his Diploma of Fellowship from the Royal South Australian Society of Arts.
Elected as Vice President of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts.
Painting excursion to Litchfield National Park, Darwin, Northern Territory.
1998 Painting excursion to the Flinders Ranges, Wilpena Pound, South Australia.
Co-curator of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts, “The Captured Image” Photographic Exhibition, Adelaide, South Australia.
Travelled to England, Spain, Morocco and Germany.
Solo Exhibition, Michael Commerford Gallery, Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales.
1999 Solo Exhibition, Antipodes Gallery, Sorrento, Victoria.
Curator of Exhibition of artworks from the Royal South Australian Society of Arts, held for the Adelaide/Georgetown Official Sister City, 25 year Anniversary,
Komtar Building, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia and guest speaker at the Official Dinner. One of Peter’s paintings was presented to the City of Georgetown.
Solo Exhibition, Without Pier Gallery, Sandringham Victoria.
Travelled to Japan to exhibit with Australian Sculptor Silvio Apponyi and Artist Dieter Engler in Okayama and Tsuyama and lectured to students at two schools.
2000 Solo Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide, South Australia.
Solo Exhibition and Artist in Residence, Monsoon Gallery, Cable Beach International Resort, Broome, Western Australia and guest speaker at the Official Dinner for the
honoured guests from Japan for the Shinju Festival.
Travelled to Lake Eyre via Flinders Ranges, Muloorina to Birdsville, Coongie Lakes, Coopers Creek and Innamincka.
Resigned after two terms as Vice President of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts.
2001 Spent one month in Arkaroola, South Australia to do preliminary artwork for the paintings to be featured in the film “The Tracker” (by Rolf de Heer) for release at the
Adelaide Festival of Arts 2002.
Solo Exhibition in his home town of Karoonda, South Australia.
Lectured and gave workshops to the students of the Karoonda Area School and East Murray School and a talk “Evening with Peter Coad” on his travels and art
styles to the local community, also gave a radio interview and addresses at the Annual Sheep Fair.
Solo Exhibition, Gallery at the Wentworth, Sydney, New South Wales,
Painting excursion to the Grampians, Victoria.
Solo Exhibition, Without pier Gallery, Sandringham, Victoria.
Two of Peter’s paintings were selected and purchased by the Dept. for Births, Deaths & Marriages, for reproduction on Birth Certificates for the Year of the Outback 2002
for South Australia, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria.
2002 Launch of the book titled “PETER COAD – Paintings and Drawings for the Film THE TRACKER” at Greenhill Galleries, North Adelaide, South Australia along with an
exhibition of the “Location Studies” completed in Arkaroola during the filming.
Solo Exhibition during the Adelaide Festival of Arts 2002 at the Adelaide Hilton Hotel of the large canvas’s which appear in the film ‘The Tracker”, Adelaide,
South Australia, (in conjunction with Greenhill Galleries, and Art Images Gallery).
Solo Exhibition, Adelaide Festival Centre Trust, Her Majesties Theatre, of the Final Colour Studies for the film ‘The Tracker”, Adelaide, South Australia.
Painting excursion to The Coorong National Park, South Australia.
Solo Exhibition, Gadfly Gallery, Dalkeith, Western Australia.
Travelled to Bali, Indonesia.
Solo Exhibition during the 51st Melbourne International Film Festival, “Paintings from the film The Tracker and other works”, Without Pier Gallery,
Solo Exhibition, “Paintings from the film The Tracker and other works” Gallery at the Wentworth, Sydney, New South Wales, during the National Launch of the film.
A Documentary is featured on the DVD of the Film The Tracker, of Peter painting for the film.
Major Supporter of the Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation’s Curtain Raiser Appeal.
2003 Solo Exhibition, Qdos Gallery, Lorne, Victoria.
Solo Exhibition, Mulgara Gallery, and Artist-in-Residence, Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, Northern Territory.
Painted a portrait of the performers on stage during “The Mary G Show” (Australia’s Leading Aboriginal comedian) Festival Centre, Adelaide Festival of Arts, South
Invited by the Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide to be a Member of the Organizing Committee for an inaugural artistic event incorporated into the Synod Opening
Eucharist at St. Peter’s Cathedral. Images of Peter’s paintings were projected behind the Alter and an original painting offered as a gift to be auctioned for Anglicare.
Peter also produced 8 original works on banners which adorned the pillars of the Cathedral and these are on permanent display at the Parish of St. Mary Magdalene in
Produced a personal documentary on painting for the series of work titled “North by North West”.
Solo Exhibition, Monsoon Gallery and Artist-in-Residence, Cable Beach Resort, Broome, Western Australia.
Published in the Book titled “Selected Contemporary Artists of Australia” by Michael Berry.
Solo Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries, North Adelaide, South Australia
Exhibited at Bark Modern Art Gallery in Hong Kong in conjunction with Manyung Gallery of Victoria.
2004 Painting excursions to the Coorong National Park, South Australia.
Solo Exhibition, Gallery at the Wentworth, Sydney, New South Wales,
Travelled to the Hawaiian Islands and Los Angeles, U.S.A. Established a gallery connection in Los Angeles.
Feature Artist, Mazenod College 11th Fine Arts Exhibition, Perth, Western Australia.
Feature Artist at the Official re-opening of the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, Sydney, New South Wales.
Solo Exhibition, Without Pier Gallery, Sandringham Victoria.
Solo exhibition, Gullotti Galleries, Perth, Western Australia.
2005 Opened the Royal South Australian Society of Arts “Outback” Exhibition.
Solo Exhibition, Monsoon Gallery and Artist in Residence Cable Beach Resort, Broome, Western Australia.
Feature Artist at Trio Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries, North Adelaide, South Australia.
Painting excursion to Cairns, Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest, Queensland
Hollister Incorporated of Illinois U.S.A. chose on of Peter’s paintings to reproduce for their Christmas Gift to their worldwide clients.
2006 Solo Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries/Hilton Hotel Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia.
Lectured on his work for the Film “The Tracker” (2002) to the Southern Districts Art Society, Victor Harbor, South Australia.
Moved to live in Port Noarlunga South, and purchased a Studio in Port Noarlunga, South Australia.
Painting excursion to Broome, Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Oscar Ranges, Willie Creek in Western Australia.
Painting excursion to Moolooloo Station, Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
The city of Cairns, Queensland, presented Peter’s painting “Emu Study – Ancient Land” to the City of Oyama, Japan, to commemorate the signing of their Sister City
The final scene painting from “The Tracker” was chosen to be used for the Third Annual Indigenous Film & Arts Festival Poster in Denver Colorado, U.S.A.
Participated and exhibited in the Artistic Exchange “Double Vision”, between City of Onkaparinga, South Australia & City of Greater Bendigo, Victoria, during the
Fleurieu Peninsula Biennale.
Produced and directed the DVD documentary “Double Vision – The Journey”.
Solo Exhibition, Gullotti Galleries, Perth Western Australia.
2007 Retrospective Exhibition 1975 – 2005, Greenhill Galleries, North Adelaide, South Australia.
Solo Exhibition, Reef Gallery, Cairns, Queensland.
Travelled to Japan to exhibit at Slogadh Gallery, Okayama, with South Australian Sculptor, Silvio Apponyi and Artist, Dieter Engler and toured Hiroshima, Mirajima,
Himeji, Kyoto & Tokyo.
Solo Exhibition, Monsoon Gallery, Broome, Western Australia.
Featured on the Channel 9 Television programme “Postcards”, South Australia
Painting excursion to The Coorong, South Australia.
The city of Cairns, Queensland, presented one of Peter’s paintings titled “Waterline – Oscar Ranges”, to the city of Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, China (a sister city
of Cairns), to commemorate the official opening of the “Friendship Gardens”.
Painting excursion to the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
2008 Painting excursion to the Parachilna and Moralana areas of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
Solo Exhibition, Prairie Hotel, during the “Tastes of the Outback”, Parachilna, South Australia.
Solo Exhibition, Framed – The Darwin Gallery, Darwin, Northern Territory.
Painting excursion from Darwin in the Northern Territory back to Adelaide, South Australia.
Painting excursion to Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
Opened Studio for the first time specifically for the SALA Festival.
Feature Artist, Mazenod College Fine Arts Exhibition, Perth Western Australia.
Solo Exhibition, Wentworth Gallery Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Solo Exhibition “Beyond Parachilna” Exhibition at Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide, South Australia on his new Flinders Ranges Series.
Painting excursion to the Flinders Ranges, including Arkaroola and Wilpena Pound, South Australia.
2009 Solo Exhibition, LK Galleries, Perth, Western Australia.
Painting excursion to the Southern Coastal Areas and Stirling Ranges, Western Australia, The Nullarbor, Great Australian Bight, Streaky Bay, South Australia.
Conducted two Master Class workshops at the Port Noarlunga Arts Centre, South Australia.
Participated in a group exhibition held at the Dubai Hotel Exhibition, International Conference Centre, Dubai.
Invited to design one of 20 Kangaroo’s which he titled “Roo with a View” for the G’day UK “Kangaroo Island Hunt”, Competition. His ‘roo’ is now owned by Tourism
Australia and stands in the Lobby Entrance of their Office in London, UK.
Gave a welcoming speech at the Citizenship Ceremony at the invitation of the Mayor of the City of Onkaparinga, South Australia.
Painting excursion to Broome, Cape Leveque, The Kimberley and was the Feature Artist at Monsoon Gallery, Broome, Western Australia.
Opened an exhibition of artwork by Jacinda Bayne at Monsoon Gallery, Broome, Western Australia.
Due exhibition with James Ainslie, Without Pier Gallery, Cheltenham, Victoria.
Resigned from the Royal South Australian Society of Arts.
Moved and established a new studio at Lynton in the Adelaide foothills, South Australia.
Painting excursion to the Parachilna and Moralana areas of The Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
Opened an exhibition on “Surf Art” at Port Noarlunga Arts Centre, South Australia
2010 Travelled to San Sebastian, Spain for the Opening of the “Intangibles in Terra Australia” Exhibition in which he participated with other Australian Artists at the
prestigious Sala Kubo-Kuxta Gallery, San Sebastian, Spain – organized by Asun Bassas MA FRSASA, International Business Ambassador to South Australia.
Travelled to France.
Solo Exhibition, Waverley Homestead, ‘Subconsciously Coad’, for SALA, Willunga, South Australia.
Feature Artist and Speaker at Dinner Event, “Subconsciously Coad” Manyung Gallery, Mt. Eliza, Victoria.
Solo Exhibition, Glenferrie Contemporary Art Gallery, “Subconsciously Coad”, Malvern, Victoria.
2011 Solo Exhibition at Portsea Art Gallery, and speaker at Dinner Event, Portsea, Victoria.
Participant in “Intangibles in Terra Australia” reciprocal Exhibition, Flinders University City Gallery, State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia.
Solo Exhibition at The Prairie Hotel “Beyond Parachilna” Parachilna, South Australia
Opened exhibition by Artist Sonya Unwin, during SALA 2011 at Elite Picture Framers.
One of Peter’s Paintings chosen for the cover of the NSW Legal Aid 2012 Diary.
Solo Exhibition for Karoonda Centenary Event, Karoonda Council Chambers, South Australia.
Solo Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries “Traveller in Landscape” North Adelaide, South Australia.
2012 Travelled to Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Salerno in Italy.
Solo Exhibition, “When Memory Becomes Art” Linton and Kay Galleries, Subiaco, Western Australia.
One of Peter’s paintings again chosen for the cover of the NSW Legal Aid 2013 Diary.
2013 Peter’s painting of a Mallee Fowl owned by the Karoonda Council was chosen for the Mallee Libraries Card, South Australia.
Travelled to Vietnam and Cambodia.
Travelled to Hawaii, U.S.A.
Painting excursion to the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia.
Another of Peter’s paintings chosen for the NSW Legal Aid 2014 Diary.
Solo Exhibition at The O’Connell Café/Gallery, North Adelaide, South Australia.
2014 Solo Exhibition, Wentworth Galleries, “A world without words”, Sydney, New South Wales.
Again one of Peter’s paintings chosen for the NSW Legal Aid 2015 Diary.
Peter painted “Owl Boots” in support of the Hutt St. Centre’s “Walk a Mile in my Boots” Fundraising Event, Adelaide, South Australia
Solo Exhibition, “A Moving Moment”, for SALA 2014 in support of the Hutt St Centre for the homeless, Toop and Toop Real Estate, The Abbey, Goodwood,
A section of one of Peter’s Paintings was selected for the Seppeltsfield 2012 Adelaide Hills Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon wine label.
2015 Painting excursion to the Coorong National Park, South Australia.
Painting excursion to the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
Again one of Peter’s paintings chosen for the cove of the NSW Legal Aid 2016 Diary.
Solo Exhibition, The Bridgewater Mill Restaurant, Mt. Barker, South Australia.
Travelled to Eastern Europe with Sculptor Silvio Apponyi cruised the Danube, Main Canal and Rhine Rivers to film, sketch and document the River areas to develop a
series of work to be exhibited in 2016 at Art Images Gallery Adelaide.
Featured on the Television series “Put Some Colour in your life”.
Famed Australian Singer/Songwriter, Russell Morris chose two of Peter’s paintings for the cover of his new CD titled “Red Dirt – Red Heart” released October 23rd.
2016 Represented by Wentworth Galleries of Sydney at the Singapore Art Fair.
Donated a Giclee Print for Dr Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots 25th Anniversary online auction.
Represented by Wentworth Galleries of Sydney at the Basel Art Fair, Hong Kong.
Moved to live in Walkerville, South Australia. Set up his Studio ‘Rooms’.
Participated in the Inaugural Exhibition ‘Duo of SA Master Artists” with Kate Breakey (Photographer – work on loan from the Art Gallery of South Australia),
City of Salisbury, Salisbury, South Australia.
Solo Exhibition, Art Images Gallery, Norwood, South Australia
Painted the Backdrop for the Independent Theatre production of “Ross”. (Story of Lawrence of Arabia) Space Theatre, Adelaide, South Australia.
2017 Represented by Wentworth Galleries, Sydney at the Basil Art Fair, Hong Kong
Painting excursion to the Great Ocean Road, Victoria and the Coorong, South Australia
Painting excursion to The Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Painting excursion to Byron Bay, New South Wales
Painting excursion to Ramco, Waikerie, South Australia
Represented in Hong Kong Art Show by Wentworth Galleries, Sydney, New South Wales.
Solo Exhibition, “Under an Open Sky”, Wentworth Galleries, Sydney, New South Wales.
One of Peter’s paintings again chosen for the cover of the NSW Legal Aid 2018 Diary.
Painting excursion (cruise) to Islands in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
Peter and Russell Morris 13/10/15
Famed Australian Singer/Songwriter Russell Morris chose two of Peter’s Artworks for his album Red Dirt – Red Heart released 23rd October 2015.
November 2016 – With this album, Russell won the Aria Award for the best Blues and Roots Album.
Peter’s painting and the words to one song appear on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIWrAqj6GVo .
Click on the links on this site or order a CD: www.russellmorris.com.au
Peter is featured on the Television Program “Put Colour in your Life” aired on 20th November 2015 on Australian Television Channel 74. You can view it on the link:
THE FILM ‘THE TRACKER’
Purchase your copy of the book “Paintings and Drawings for the Film The Tracker” for the special price of A$20 (plus postage) by contacting Peter.
The book describes the paintings used in the film and the process taken to produce the final canvases. Peter’s involvement in the film is explained here-under.
Peter was commissioned by Internationally acclaimed Australian Film Producer/Director, Rolf de Heer, (www.vertigoproductions.com.au) to paint 14 Canvases which appear in his award winning feature movie THE TRACKER, which had its World Premiere as the opening film of the “Shedding Light” program for the Adelaide Festival of Arts 2002. It was also the opening film for the 51st Melbourne International Film Festival and was invited to participate in the 59th Venice Film Festival and other international Film Festivals. Peter spent one month in March 2001 at Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in northern South Australia where he painted Location Studies, did thumbnail sketches, drawings and coloured images, to gain the feel for the land, characters and story of the film. After his return to Adelaide he viewed the rushes doing more small pencil and watercolour sketches which he and Rolf would discuss prior to Peter painting the Final Colour Studies. These were again discussed before Peter painted the Final Canvasses which were filmed, then edited into the movie as static scenes.
The book, “PETER COAD Paintings and Drawings for the Film THE TRACKER” , explains the whole process and journey that Peter took to arrive at these 14 Canvases. It also gives his inner thoughts and the reasoning behind them. (Copies are available by contacting Peter directly using the Contact Details page or by ordering it through Galleries who exhibit Peter’s work).
THE MOVIE is about the Fanatic (Gary Sweet), a government trooper, who leads two white men, the Follower (Damon Gameau), an unseasoned trooper, and the Veteran (Grant Page), an experienced fighter. On horseback they follow an Aboriginal, the Tracker (David Gulpilil), searching for traces of the Fugitive (Noel Wilton), an Aboriginal accused of murdering a white woman. Massacre and murder follow. Clear cut notions of truth and justice are subverted and the question becomes not one of – will the Fugitive be caught, but what is black and what is white and who is leading whom?
Excerpts from a few of the numerous reviews on the movie:
De Heer’s use of Coad’s paintings adds an uncanny power to the film, strangely making the violence more meaningful, more tragic, taking away any notion that’s it’s only a movie. ….It’s actually a film that’s important not to miss… Margaret Pomeranz – The Movie Show
Another brilliant aspect is the use of art. Artist Peter Coad was commissioned to paint 14 landscape and figurative works for inclusion in the film, a first for an Australian Film. The paintings are used ingeniously to display violence in the film, a method that works to both soften the impact of the actions, and also make them so much more powerful. The works are melded beautifully into the landscape of the film, using dramatic and bold colour to depict the shocking and harsh nature of the land…..The Tracker is a socially important film in the history of Australia….Belinda Yench – The Blurb
The film’s mythic point of view is evocatively underlined by the substitution of illustrations for live action whenever violence erupts. These stylised images by the Australian artist Peter Coad create an aesthetic distance from the cruelty, lending the atrocities the stature of events in a historical mural that freezes the past into an eternal present…. Stephen Holden – The New York Times
But here, and in the further bloody incidents that occur as the tension mounts, de Heer avoids voyeuristically dwelling on the violence, by illustrating these dramas with painted images (by the Australian artist Peter Coad). This lends them a mythic quality, as though they were descriptions of events, passed down from generation to generation, finally to find expression in popular art…. Roderick Conway Morris – International Herald Tribune
These are the kind of devices that could appear as contrived, but here they work. The end result is something deceptively simple and potent….Rebort – jofilm U.K.
The interstitial artwork by Peter Coad is not just a novel trick of independent filmmaking, it’s an empathetic attack on the mind, jolting you out of your screen-fed complacency so that you have to think about what you’re seeing….Craig – bscene