Peter E. Clarke's vibrant story is one of a renowned and prolific artist, printmaker, writer and poet spanning some 60 years in South Africa. An accomplished and versatile visual artist, Clarke works across a broad spectrum of media, predominantly woodcuts, linocuts, screenprints and etchings. "Had I been triplets, it would have made it much easier because each could have his own job. There are times when I go through a writing phase and there are times for phases of picture-making but there is never a dull moment," says Clarke of his multifaceted creative nature.
Born in 1929 in Simons Town and later in 1972 forced to relocate to Ocean View under the Group Areas Act. Much of his work has been inspired by the beautiful coastal village of Simons Town. He left high school in 1944 and was a dock worker until 1956 when, aged 27, a three month break in Teslaarsdal, a small farming village near Caledon in South West Cape, began his artistic career.
The dramatic and unstable social-political backdrop in South Africa influenced Clarke's artistic development and personal interpretation of the ever changing environment around him. Clarke's creative contribution to his Cape community during South Africa's turbulent years marked Clarke as an influential and unique artist able to work successfully under fundamental and restrictive political structures. His work is a celebration and documentation of the everyday life of his community. It has tremendous value both historically and aesthetically.
Clarke has produced a significantly large body of work and has exhibited in many exhibitions over the years both locally and internationally.