Peter Peryer

Wings, Japan

Wings, Japan by Peter Peryer

Artwork Detail

Animals such as dogs, sheep, cows and insects fascinated Peter Peryer throughout his career. The artist admired the miniature dragon fly for its combination of energy and strength with an apparent fragility. Although the glassy wings of the insect are ultra-thin and intensely flexible they are extremely strong, consisting of a polysaccharide exoskeleton in a diaphanous translucent chitin.

Under a shadowless light, Peryer records the dragonfly’s hind wings as they are seen at rest so that their asymmetric structural tracery may be clearly viewed. The image utilises the visual ambiguity found within many of his photographs where it is never clear what the actual scale and volume of a particular subject consists of.

The fact that this is a colour photograph, which appears to be a monochromatic image, is characteristic of the artist’s decisive contrasting of a few elements. With the foreshortened focus over a narrow depth of field, Peryer contrasts the wings’ irregular lattice against the crystalline polish of the granite stone which the dragon fly is shown against. This results in the lower wing being in full focus while the upper wing is shown at a lesser focus; giving a view of dragonfly wings that is infrequently seen.

Wings, Japan
Peter Peryer
Production date
inkjet on paper
531 x 409 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the estate of Peter Peryer, 2019
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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