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Peter Dawson was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in 1947 and trained in art at Bingley College of Education. He taught art in schools in Bradford and Hertfordshire and from 1990 until his retirement in 2005 was County Advisor for Art and Design for Hertfordshire Education Authority.
He paints in a variety of media - watercolour, acrylic and oil, often using collage and layers of papers or canvas of varying texture and absorbency to create the painting surface. These effects are combined with an interest in images and symbols from different cultures and times: ancient Egyptian, Byzantine, early Renaissance and Tibetan art, for example and with an interest in the continuity of imagery across time and place, such as mazes, interlace patterns and the squared circle. Recurring themes involve journeys, architectural fragments, boxes and containers, charms and talismans, rainbows and favourite pieces of music.
His work has been shown regularly since 1971 in more than 100 mixed and one person exhibitions in the UK, Holland, America and Canada. His paintings are in public and private collections in this country and abroad and 20 have been published as limited editions, posters and reproduction prints, including an edition specially commissioned for the liner MV Orient Express. He has travelled widely in Europe, Asia and North Africa. In 1989 he was co-author and co-illustrator of Albania - a Guide and Illustrated Journal, at that time one of only two English language guidebooks to communist Albania, since reprinted to the the post communist era (Bradt Publications 1995.)
In 1982 he was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (R.I.) He exhibits each year at their Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London. He has served on the RI Council and from 2001 to 2005 was Secretary for the Institute. In 1999 and 2003 he won the Winsor and Newton Award for the best group of paintings by a member in the exhibition and in 2000 received the Linda Blackstone Gallery award for the most innovative use of watercolour.
Submitted by Noud Koevoets