Since its onset, the photograph has been used as a portal to far off times and places. We send postcards depicting landscapes, buildings, and events, offering the recipient a chance to imagine or experience on a visual level, the place the sender has visited. In looking at a picture from our childhood, we often find ourselves recollecting whole periods of our lives. These small pictures, these souvenirs, work as monumental gateways and can trigger memories from our past or bring forth yearnings and curiosities for exploration into the possibility before us.
In his sculptural photo-works, Peter Hendrick explores the souvenir photo, “the ones of both people and places that we take in anticipation that we may desire at sometime in the future to be reminded of a place, a feeling or time. In ”Self-Portrait” an appropriate photograph once belonging to Hendrick’s father, reminds how eager we are to enter pictures and, through some magic revivify those captured”. The piece “ Island ,” created by taking an image of the Cliffs of Moher, printing it once and then in reverse gives us both more and less of what was originally photographed. He creates a setting for us to “dive into,” to imagine, but whose existence stops at the surface of the print.
“Each piece explores in different ways how pictures either succeed or fail to do what we want pictures to do – be that to embody functional romanticism or serve as memory triggers, and what that says about how we perceive our experience of life lived over time. We preserve memories for many reasons and Hendrick’s work makes us understand why. His intention is not to make us stop doing it or ruin our reverie, he is not a spoilsport, but rather he allows us momentary self-awareness before we dive back into the photo record, our memories, and our lives once again.
Peter Hendrick was born in Dublin in 1963 and raised in Cork. In 1981 he moved to London and studied at the Chelsea School of Art where he earned his BA in sculpture and received a MFA from Hunter College (NY) in 1993. He has participated in many group exhibitions including shows at White Columns, the Henry Street Project and the Bronx Museum all in New York. He has had solo exhibitions at the Temple Bar Gallery and the Triskel Art Centre in Ireland. He has received an Art Matters Fellowship in 1994 and was an artist in residence in 1996 at The Temple Bar Gallery & Studios Project Studio in conjunctions with the Fire Station Artist’s Residency. He lives and works in New York City.