Associate Professor Peter Ellis Full Staff Profile

Associate Professor Peter Ellis

Associate Professor Peter Ellis is Deputy Head of School, Learning and Teaching. He is an alumnus of the school and has been an art educator in fine art for over 30 years, leading the painting studio for 18 years.

Peter Ellis’s interest in Dada and Surrealism has been at the core of his artistic research for more than forty years. Spanning paintings, drawings, prints, objects, multiples, zines, sound works and artists’ books, Peter’s practice has explored the Surrealist conception of ‘the marvellous’, exploiting the power of the imagination and the unconscious mind through techniques such as dream analysis and psychic automatism. Depicting an imaginative world of idiosyncratic personal symbolism, his imagery depicts incongruous spaces full of strange animals, alien creatures and wonderfully metamorphosing figures.

His work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Western Australian Art Gallery Queensland Art Gallery and fifteen regional galleries and a variety of collections across the world.

With an exhibiting history including more than 20 solo exhibitions including a major survey of his drawings at the RMIT Gallery and 165 curated group exhibitions. His work has been featured in Mixed Tape 1980s Appropriation, Subculture, Critical Style – NGV Australia (2013) Other Worlds, Queensland Art Gallery, (2002) Prints and Australia, pre-settlement to the present day, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (1989). Field to Figuration at the National Gallery of Victoria 1960-1986 (1986). Backlash-The Australian Drawing revival 1976-1986. National Gallery of Victoria (1986) Painters and Sculptors, Diversity in Contemporary Australian Art, Queensland Art Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan. (1987)

A significant contribution of his paintings, drawings and sketchbooks was recently included in the major survey exhibition Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes (Ian Potter Centre:  National Gallery of Victoria, NGV Australia, 2015–2016).