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Sunday, May 24, 2009


(Pic: Peter Rippon (2008): 23h23 (detail); Oil on canvas)

New work by Peter Rippon at the KZNSA Gallery.

New work by Peter Rippon is on show at the KZNSA Gallery in an exhibition titled Morphology.

The exquisitely detailed and intimate paintings of Peter Rippon explore the nuances of mortality. Drawing on bodies, body parts and inanimate objects, the tightly-cropped paintings use the physical and the corporeal to investigate and comment on the scientific and medical view of the body as a dehumanised subject, a specimen. In this way, Rippon provides commentary on the contemporary yearning towards immortality, a denial of our own and inevitable death.

Exploring this theme even further, Rippon uses subject matter that denotes containment: jars, bottles, plastic packets, usually containing incongruous objects. Emerging here is the idea of collecting, preserving and presenting objects in a discordant manner; an attempt to emulate scientific processes. Issues of absurdity emerge when these almost arbitrary specimens are presented in ways unsuitable to their natures. This is Rippon’s way of ridiculing a species that has become so enamoured with its own thinking that it imagines by systematically analysing, classifying, and cataloguing the world around it, it can unlock the secrets of the universe.

Morphology runs at the KZNSA Gallery until May 31. The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1703, fax 031 201 8051 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit