Peter Peryer

The Bracelet

The Bracelet by Peter Peryer

Artwork Detail

Between 1975 and 1980, Peter Peryer took approximately twenty-five portraits of his then-wife Erika Parkinson. Within these photographs, Erika assumes multiple roles, presented variously as protagonist, victim, lover and muse. In The Bracelet, Erika appears as a lithe nude adorned with a single bracelet that hints at the exoticism of the East. Peryer records a juxtaposition of patterns and textures; particularly the smoothness of Erika's skin and the stripes of the blanket upon which she lies. Belying the purely objective nature of documentary photography, the sensual subject matter is complemented by Peryer's carefully ordered composition that incorporates a triangular 'template', a signature shape that recurs across his oeuvre regardless of subject, be it human, animal or inanimate object. This reverence for composition and the physical beauty of the print demonstrates the influence of the German New Objectivists and American modernist photographers; particularly Edward Weston. Weston's promotion of photography as a form of high art, and specifically his concepts of 'seeing compositionally' and 'pure form' impressed Peryer. At odds with the documentary tradition of photographic portraiture, the identity of the subject – in this case Peryer's wife - is ignored. Peryer's sitters personify a particularly 'brooding' aesthetic; they are physically and psychologically manipulated by Peryer to achieve a certain 'look'; an approach that reveals his artful intentions.

The Bracelet
Peter Peryer
Production date
gelatin silver print
180 x 180 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2005
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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