Peter Lange is an Auckland based sculptural artist. He has been working with ceramics since the 1970s and is regarded as a pioneer within the New Zealand ceramics community. In the 2016 New Year Honours, Lange was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to ceramic arts. He has exhibited regularly in New Zealand, China, Dubai, Italy, Taiwan and Turkey and has taken Artist in Residence and teaching positions in five different countries.
For around six years Lange has been experimenting with ceramic bricks – a form previously used only in the construction of kilns and not considered an art material. Lange enjoys challenging public perception of the commonplace medium, saying: ‘Brick has been a cheap unit of human construction from the beginning of civilisation. I enjoy softening, bending and sculpting this otherwise rigid material.’
The use of bricks has become Lange’s trademark. His sculptures constantly push the boundaries of the medium. Exemplifying his enthusiasm for experimentation, in 2002 Lange built a two tonne, six metre long brick boat which he then floated in the Auckland harbour – simply to prove that he could.
Lange’s witty and imaginative approach lends to its wide appeal. Inspiration is drawn from iconic New Zealand forms and the influence of the artist’s surroundings in Auckland. He says: ‘I’m very influenced by where I live, in New Zealand and specifically Mount Eden. I’ve lived here for 30 years and it’s grown on me. I walk up Maungawhau, the mountain, every day and get another view on the world.’
Lange’s work is represented in a number of significant public and private collections, including that of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Christchurch Art Gallery, the Suzhou School of Art in China, and the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales.