Peter Olley attended the Royal College of Art, London, Britain’s premier art institution during the early 60’s, graduating in 1965. This was a particularly creative period for british art, and the themes established in his work at that time have remained remarkably consistant throughout almost four decades of practice.
“The etchings were made in London during the swinging sixties, a period of intense optimism following long years of austerity after the war.This had a vibrant effect on music, art, fashion, film, etc, and I was indeed fortunate to be a beneficiary as I completed my studies at the Royal College Of Art and began my career as an artist. The Cold War and ambitiously developing space technology posed ever present threats and opportunities, providing rich and diverse influences on the production of art.”
Text by Julian Trevelyan:
“Artists do not grow in an altogether hap-hazard way; they fertilize each other, and consequently it is no surprise to find a generation of friends, such as were Monet, Pissaro, and Renoir, maturing in the same soil and climate.
These three print-makers, Norman Ackroyd, Peter Olley, and Shane Weare, all studied at the Royal College of Art more or less at the same time. They are all tremendous individuals, but they have more in common than they probably realize.
They matured in the same soil, and learned the hard way to extract their nourishment from the impersonal face of an Art Academy. As a result, perhaps, they have all come to speak the same artistic language.
They are all in their separate ways exploiting to the full the possibilities of the medium in which they work—etching. They all share a professional attitude to their work; one has only to notice the impeccable quality of each print.
And above all they are, as all true artists are, possessed by the same creative fire.”