Peter's influence is all around northern Tasmania. He was an artist of distinction and generosity, passionately determined that art as an integral part of daily life was of vital importance to everyone. He was the epitome of inclusiveness and lived every day like it was his last.

Peter Alting came to art through an unusual route: in the air force in Holland, a draughtsman in Tasmania, he studied art later in life and ceramics became his passion. He and Bernadine established Underwood Pottery.

In 1991 the then Lilydale Arts Council approached him with an idea for a ceramic mural outside the Old Courthouse building in Lilydale's main street. The mural Perpetual Creation, which is the banner for the Lilydale Arts website, was created through Peter's collaboration with over 200 residents in the Lilydale region, all of whom took an active part in the design and execution of the mural.  The theme of the mural, pictured to the right in its entirety is the perpetual, the ongoing, the cycle of birth, growth and decay - rhythms of life and death so very real to people living in rural environments.  

The process of creating a mural of this size and complexity involved a huge number of legal, administrative, chemical, transport and engineering steps.

  • apply for a Council permit
  • design the mural
  • lay out the clay
  • set out the mural design
  • work on clay tiles - undertaken by volunteers, usually 6 at a time
  • cut clay tiles
  • separate and clean tiles
  • index tiles on grid
  • dry the mural pieces (3-4 weeks)
  • transport the mural pieces to Underwood Pottery kiln for firing
  • first firing (bisque) to about 1000 degrees C over 3 weeks
  • rub oxides onto fired tiles
  • apply glaze and colouring agents
  • second firing (gloss) to 1285 degrees C over many weeks
  • drill 350 holes into the wall of the Old Courthouse
  • Glue in the 350 steel pins
  • Mount mural tiles on the wall
  • unveil and celebrate!

Following the acclaim for Perpetual Creation, Peter undertook other mural adventures in Scottsdale, Beaconsfield and for the Launceston General Hospital.  Dance of the Planets, Peter's last work, was bittersweet. During the creation of this work for the Launceston General Hospital Peter was diagnosed with cancer. He and Bernadine worked together to complete this beautifully flowing work, with colours enhancing its elegance. A ribbon forms the link as it weaves through the mural signifying the connectedness between people. Peter was touched by the overwhelming support shown on opening night.

Above: Layers of Discovery - the mural at Beaconsfield.  

Peter enjoying a quiet drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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