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© Peter Deacon The Prime Elements 673

Peter Deacon



Peter Deacon is a well-known Canadian artist, Professor Emeritus of Art, and a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. His work is represented in dozens of major public and corporate collections and numerous private collections. Peter served as a faculty member at the University of Calgary in the Department of Art from 1975 until 2015. The recipient of many honours, in 2004, Peter was a recipient of the Alan Blizzard Award, presented in Ottawa for cross-disciplinary innovations in higher education. This is the first time a faculty member from the University of Calgary has received this award.

Born on the Isle of Wight, England, Peter graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Portsmouth College of Art, then attended the University of Wales where he received a Masters of Education. Later, Peter earned his Masters of Fine Arts Degree at the Slade School of Art, University of London. He was the recipient of a Prix de Rome award enabling him to live in Rome for two years from 1970 -1972 and he was Artist in Residence at the University of Nottingham in England from 1973- 1975. Peter became a Canadian citizen in 1979 and resides in Calgary, Alberta.

Artist Statement

The paintings in this series are based upon the interplay of signs, images and symbols; irreducible components that I have named as “Prime Elements”. The component images referencing geographic location, personal experience, memories, prime numbers, geometry and primary colors etc. are “irreducible” in the sense that I regard them as being absolute. They are both Autobiographical and Universal. These works make particular reference to locations on or near the Continental Divide, the most important symbolic and geographical metaphor for my own location in Calgary.