William Peers studied at Falmouth College of Art, and continued his studies in Italy in the marble town of Carrara, as well as spending long periods in Corsica. Past exhibitions include ‘100 Days: Sketched in Marble’, 2010 and exhibitions in New York and San Francisco as well as ‘On Form’ at Asthall Manor and an exhibition at Glyndebourne.
His earliest carvings were figurative, following a long history of English stone carving brought to prominence in the 20th Century by Henry Moore and Eric Gill. In the 1990s he moved to Cornwall, where he spent 15 years carving in Hornton stone and later turned to Portuguese marble. His carvings are now entirely abstract a series 100 Days: Sketched in Marble in which he carved a marble sculpture each day for 100 days represented an experimentation with the boundaries between abstraction and figuration.
His recent work is executed almost entirely in marble a material chosen for its inherent tensile strength. Technically the work reaches back to the achievements of the sculptors of the high Renaissance. Peers has pushed the material to its absolute limits creating abstract works which almost defy the physical properties of the material. Shapes are stacked, held in a tense equilibrium and sinuous loops defy gravity. ‘I wanted to make sculptures with a lot of air in them explained Peers, which reach a long way into space yet are very delicate, it is almost counter intuitive to take a heavy block of marble and throw away as much as eighty per cent of it’. The relationship between positive and negative shape dominate this which has much in common with 20th-century abstract painting. Currently he is creating a series of single loop sculptures incorporating twists and turns.