Peter Peryer

Trout, Lake Taupo

Trout, Lake Taupo by Peter Peryer

Artwork Detail

Peter Weiermair's astute observation that the images of contemporary New Zealand photographer Peter Peryer are 'as complex as good poems, which can be read again and again, and always differently' is well illustrated by Trout, Lake Taupö, which elicits a variety of emotional responses from viewers and eludes any single overriding interpretation. Dead creatures of land, sea and air are a recurring theme in Peryer's work, an echo of his rural upbringing in Northland, which introduced him to the slaying of animals and the associated ritual of displaying the gruesome trophy - in this instance an emblem of a national tourist industry. The sense of unease stirred in those unaccustomed to the rites of fishing is typical of Peryer's approach, yet in its pathos the image also contains a poetic beauty; the long glistening body of the trout is still radiant as its life ebbs away in the sunlight, framed by the vertical canvas side and horizontal edge of the boat. The careful organisation of the composition belies the seemingly documentary, on-the-spot style, transforming the scene from a transitory moment into a timeless memorial. Re-presenting a familiar subject to highlight unique and unexpected qualities that would otherwise be missed is Peryer's specialty: here an everyday event is reinvented as a dramatic yet unsentimental enactment of the age-old themes of life and death, poetry and tragedy. (from The Guide, 2001)

Trout, Lake Taupo
Peter Peryer
Production date
gelatin silver print
464 x 306 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1988
Accession no
Other ID
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

To find out which artworks are available for print requests and reproduction please enquire here. This service only applies to select artworks in the Gallery's collection.