Associate Professor Peter Ellis is Painting Studio Leader BA Fine Art Program
Peter Ellis is a Tertiary Art Educator with over 40 years national and international experience.
He has supervised Higher Degree Research students since 1996 and has had more than 20 successful completions.
In the past he has coordinated the School's offshore partnerships in Singapore and New Zealand for over 10 years and has also taught in international programs in Hong Kong.
He held the position Chair of Learning and Teaching for 2 years prior to his appointment as Deputy Head of School, Learning and Teaching from 2013 to 2018.
As a practicing artist, Peter Ellis is an acute observer of natural world, his work highlights, current social, political and environmental concerns while also drawing upon a vast array of historic and cultural art references.
His interest in Dada and Surrealism has been at the core of his artistic research for more than forty years. His diverse practice includes paintings, drawings, prints, objects, multiples, artists' books, zines and collaborative sound works.
In particular, Peter's practice explores the Surrealist conception of 'the marvelous' highlighting the power of the imagination and the unconscious mind through techniques such as dream analysis and psychic automatism. Depicting an imaginative world of idiosyncratic personal symbolism, his imagery conjures incongruous spaces inhabited by strange animals, hybrid creatures and metamorphosing figures.
He has presented more than 20 solo exhibitions and his work has been selected for more than 170 curated exhibitions nationally and internationally.
He has been the recipient of a number of prestigious Grants and Awards. His work is represented in numerous collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Western Australian Art Gallery, Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art.
His work is cited in over 70 published books and catalogues and a 100 journals, magazine and newspaper reviews.
A significant contribution of over 100 individual works was included in the survey exhibition Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes (Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria, NGV Australia, 2015–2016).
Peter has delivered papers at national and international conferences.
Conducted floor talks and lectures at a variety of galleries, universities and public forums.
He has been a subject specialist and co-author of Open University Australia courses.
Member selection panel for a variety Public Art Projects.
Invited to examine numerous of Post Graduate candidates nationally and internationally.
Contributed lectures on Max Ernst and Gustave Dore for NGV, Telstra on device talks.
Invited subject expert for ABC Radio.
Peter has participated on program accreditation committees for Monash University, University of Melbourne VCA,
Melbourne Polytechnic, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore.
Peter Ellis is currently Painting Studio Leader BA Fine Art Program.
Key activities include - Teaching, Postgraduate Supervision, Research, Community and Industry Engagement; has PhD equivalence and is supervisor to 3 PhD candidates.
- MA 1996
- BA 1978
Selected individual and two person exhibitions
- 2013 A Head in a Hive of Bees, Peter Ellis Selected Drawings, RMIT Gallery.
- 2011 The Oyster Eye, Langford 120, 120 Langford Street, North Melbourne.
- 2010 Gamble Against the Spirit World, Peter Ellis and Louise Weaver, 24HR Art, Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art, NT, Australia.
- 2004 The All-Powerful Owl, Window of Opportunity, Foyer Building 2, School of Art, RMIT University. Melbourne, Australia.
- 2003 Early Works on Paper, by Jon Cattapan and Peter Ellis, Gallery Irascerable, Melbourne, Australia.
- 2002 Holiday in Minsk, Mass Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
- 2000 Peter Ellis, Works on Paper, Mass Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
- 2001 Works on Paper, Peter Ellis and Peter Clarke, SP Gallery, Seoul, South Korea, Faculty Gallery, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
- 1996 Arkhive: The Secret Language of Sparks; Peter Ellis, Selected works 1991 – 1995 RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
Selected group exhibitions
- 2020 Future U, RMIT Gallery, RMIT University
- 2019 Pleasure, RMIT Gallery, curated by Helen Rayment, Julian Goddard & Evelyn Tsitas. RMIT University
- 2019 Melbourne Modern: European art and design at RMIT since 1945, RMIT Gallery
- 2019 Museum of Aphorisms and Platitudes #4, c3 Contemporary Art Space, The Abbortsford Convent, Melbourne, curated by Dr. Phil Edwards
- 2018 Impressions 2018 – Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne
- 2018 Creaturephor, Site Eight Gallery, School of Art, RMIT University, Curated by Julian Godard.
- 2018 My Monster: The Human Animal Hybrid World, RMIT Gallery, Curated by Evelyn Tsitas
- 2018 Chaos and Order: 120 years of collecting at RMIT, RMIT Gallery, curated by Jon Buckingham
- 2017 All the Better to See You With, Fairy Tales Transformed – Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University, curated by Samantha Comte
- 2017 Hidden Treasures from the NGV Collection, presented by Alisa Bunbury Melbourne Rare Book Week, NGV International.
- 2017 Museum of Lost Public Notices, George Paton Gallery, University of Melbourne, Co-ordinated by Phil Edwards and David Dellafiora
- 2016 My Geelong, Geelong Art Gallery curated by Jason Smith
- 2016 Quiddity- Unpacking the RMIT Collection, RMIT Gallery.
- 2016 BETWIXT, Czech & Solvak Film Festival, ACMI Mediatheque, ACMI building, Curated by Carmen Reid.
- 2016 Impressions 2016, Australian Print Workshop.
- 2015 Lurid Beauty, Australian Surrealism and it's Echoes, The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia.
- 2014 Artist's Books Reprised, George Paton Gallery, University of Melbourne. Curated by Sandra Bridie, Craig Burgess and Alice Mathieau.
- 2014 The Museum of Abject Sentimentality, School of Art Gallery, RMIT University, curated by Dr. Phil Edwards.
- 2014 Loose Canon, Artbank, Sydney, Australia. Curated by Dr. Daniel Mudie Cunningham,
- 2013 Mixed Tape 1980s Appropriation, Subculture, Critical Style – National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.
- 2013 Contemporary Australian Drawing 3. New York Studio School, New York, USA.
- 2013 Impressions, 2013, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne.
- 2012 Contemporary Australian Drawing 2. Drawing as Notation, Text and Discovery, University of Arts London & Langford 120 Gallery Melbourne.
- 2011 Celebrating 20 Years of Platform, Platform Public Art Contemporary Art Spaces.
- 2009 Drawing of the World, World of Drawing, Museum of Art, Seoul National University, South Korea.
- 2008 Fictions, curated by Kirrily Hammond, Monash University Museum of Art, Switchback Gallery, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Grants and awards
- 2019 Commissioned to create a series of works on paper for the collaborative work 'Nocturne (Entr'acte)' included in 'Between Appearances: the art of Louise Weaver', Buxton Contemporary, The University of Melbourne. Curated by Melissa Keys
- 2015 Commissioned Wall Painting 'Sensitive Teeth' as part of the exhibition 'Lurid Beauty, Australian Surrealism and its Echoes', The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia.
- 2012 Commissioned print, Impressions series, Australian Print Workshop.
- 2007 Contributed to Out on a Limb, limited edition multiple by Louise Weaver for Art and Australia Publication, volume 44, number 3.
- 1997 Awarded 'Best Book Design' in the Best Paperback Fiction category Penguin Books, for 'Quiver', by Tobsha Learner, Illustrated by Peter Ellis.
- 1996 Commissioned, Penguin Books, Australia, to Illustrate 'Quiver' by Tobsha Learner.
- 1993 Australia Council, Visual Arts / Crafts Board, International studio Residency, Greene Street, New York, USA.
- 1993 Commissioned by Monash University to contribute to limited edition book of prints, a collaborative project with the Australian Print Workshop. Travasare 2, Centre for Artist's Books and Limited Editions.
- 1992 Awarded Commonwealth Staff Development Grant for Master of Fine Art Research, RMIT University.
- 1992 Awarded the Ninth R.M. Hamilton Art Award, Hamilton Art Gallery.
- 1989 Designs record cover for 'Jesus Can't Remember,' by Australian Indie band The Slaughtermen.
- 1988 Awarded Newcastle Invitation Art Purchase, major purchase for painting. Newcastle Art Gallery, Australia.
- 1986 Awarded Fremantle Prize for Drawing. Fremantle Art Gallery, Western Australia.
- 1996 Artist in Residence, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia.
- 1996 Awarded Australia Council for the Arts, Visual Arts and Crafts Board, project grant to produce suite of etchings.
- 1982 Designed sets, properties and poster for 1C1 production of Alfred Jarry play Ubu Rex, Melbourne, Australia.
- 1981 Commissioned by Australian Print Council for member print.
- 1976 Commissioned Artwork for double record sleeve, for the cult band 'Cybotron' recognized as Australia's first electronic music group.
- National Gallery of Australia
- National Gallery of Victoria
- Art Gallery of New South Wales
- Western Australian Art Gallery
- Queensland Art Gallery
- University of Melbourne Museum of Art
- State Library of Victoria
- Warrnambool Art Gallery
- Wagga – Wagga City Art Gallery
- Mildura Art Gallery
- Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Collection
- City of Toowoomba Collection
- Print Council of Australia
- Art Bank
- Lyceum Club
- Smorgan Family Collection
- ICI Collection
- Victorian College of the Arts
- Monash University Museum of Art
- Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
- Newcastle Region Art Gallery
- Hamilton Art Gallery
- Latrobe Valley Art Centre
- Holmes A Court Collection
- Bendigo Fine Art Gallery
- Burnie Regional Gallery
- Geelong Art Gallery
- Geelong Fine Art School Collection
- Maitland Art Gallery
- Kaywon High School for the Arts
- Contemporary Artist's Book Collection, George Paton Gallery
- Wangaratta Art Gallery
- Ellis, P. (2021). Cloning Pigeons, Antler Replicator In: Future U Melbourne, Australia
- Ellis, P. (2021). Fragments from the land of mist In: Morphosis Melbourne, Australia
- Weaver, E.,Ellis, P. (2019). Nocturne (Entr'acte) In: Between Appearances: The art of Louise Weaver Melbourne, Australia
- Ellis, P. (2018). My Monster - The animal human hybrid In: My Monster - The animal human hybrid Melbourne, Australia
- Ellis, P. (2016). Ghosts of Cesky Krumlov In: Betwixt - Czeck and Slovak Film Festival 2016 Melbourne Australia
- Ellis, P. (2015). Sensitive Teeth In: Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism And Its Echoes Melbourne, Australia
- Ellis, P. (2015). Rabbit Painting In: Turn up your radio Melbourne, Australia
- Ellis, P. (2014). This year In: Superfictions 1. The Art Fair Murders Melbourne, Australia
- Ellis, P. (2013). Tableau In: Mix Tape 1980's Appropriation,Subculture, Critical Style Melbourne, Australia
- Ellis, P. (2013). Thermometer In: A Head in a Hive of Bees- Peter Ellis Selected Drawings Melbourne, Australia
3 PhD Current Supervisions8 PhD Completions and 5 Masters by Research Completions