Peter E. Clarke 1929 – 2014

SA Art Times | Gabriel Clark-Brown (Editor):


It would be true that Peter touched the lives of more people that you can imagine with a grace, love, humour and human dignity. I believe most artists, students, children have a story to tell about how Peter touched their lives.

Cover of the SA Art Times May 2011: Peter Clarke by Jenny Altschuler

Born in Simonstown, Cape Town in 1929, Peter started art at an early age, even doing a stint as a dockhand and moving to Ocean View under the forced removals in the 70’s where he lived in his flat until his passing. Peter worked with many mediums and many artists during his lifetime: diverse mediums included poetry, writing, art, collage painting and printmaking. In addition he worked with a great variety of artist’s, his passing almost closes the chapter of Cape art history 1950- 1970 art generation that includes the likes of Erik Laubscher, Cecil Skotness, Marjorie Wallace and many artists of which few remain such as Alice Golden.

Left: Peter Clarke by Jenny Altschuler 2011/ Right: Peter Clarke age 9, Simonstown

Official fame and recognition came late in Peter’s life with being awarded in 2005 the Order of Ikhamga and 2011his solo exhibition at The SA National Gallery exhibition entitled: ‘Listening To Distant Thunder’ was received with high praise.
Recently Peter Clarke’s prices for his artwork both in galleries and auction houses have skyrocketed. When I asked him really what he would love to do ultimately with his fame and fortune, he said that ‘I would love to buy a yacht and sail the world’. Everyone that met Peter has a story to tell, at Frank Joubert Children’s Art Centre where he is a patron, and they have a chair with his name, set aside for him, at many a place and at many a moment we will all be poorer at his passing, but overwhelmed that a man like Peter blessed our lives and reminded us that good, humanity, love and art prevails forever. (Written by GP Clark-Brown)