This site catalogs the projects undertaken by Peter Sramek over an active and diverse art career. The categories and colour coded lines attempt to make apparent the themes and threads of thought which underlie and connect the various bodies of work.
History & Culture: Cities
These projects examine the development of historical cities
many through consideration of photographic archives combined with the artist's related photography documenting contemporary urban architectural environments.
Recent Book Titles from the Urban Walks Series
History and Culture: Sites
With a fascination for history and the manner in which historical sites provide touchstones for a sense of cultural meaning, the artist has approached many venues, particularly through film-based panoramic photography, physically visiting and literally 'touching the stones'. These sites act as touristic destinations, but also their images in painting and photography continue to resonate as proof of human accomplishment.
Photographing the experience of travel and tourism, has led the artist to document journeys with a sense of irony and humour, often utilizing sequential formats, such as photographing all of the gas station stops on a trip from Toronto to the west coast of Canada and back; photographing multiple exposures from the car while driving; or, documenting trips along popular tour routes.
Journeys: Walks and Pilgrimage
Walking a path, allows for close observation and a creates a framework of apparently systematic documentation. Retracing the steps of earlier photographers is both a study of their approaches and an act of homage. Evolving from the earlier projects about travel, the most recent bodies of work, whether walking across a city or along ancient roads, add a spiritual intention of meditative contemplation. Paths followed are related to historical routes, maps or archival photographs.
In the early 1970s, the upsurge of feminist action led the artist to consider the sexism so visible in the urban society around him. Street photography became a form for recording what he saw in public spaces and consumer culture. An anti-sexist politic gave his work a focus beyond the accidental and surreal, often associated with street photography's capture of fleeting moments. Collage work based on fashion magazines and early digital tools carried this conversation into diverse forms.
Gender: On Being Male
After photographing how men present themselves in public, the projects turned to personal representations, such as self-nudes and much later delving into his relationship with his father. Much of this work has seen limited exhibition and remains to be re-examined in the light of social developments of the past 4 decades. Video installation works are included in this trajectory of exploration.
Paradise: Loss & Desire
Living brings with it experiences of desire, love, loss and death, provoking the expression of deep emotions. Through such introspective and psychologically turbulent times, the artist has produced metaphorical bodies of work which are both deeply personal and universal. There is a recurring expression of desire for a deeper relationship with the natural world and its spiritual sustenance.
An early engagement with photographic sequencing led naturally to hand bookbinding and projects specifically designed for the book format. Image content, text and sequence combines with structure and materials in these very limited editions made by the artist. Photographic processes are used in early works, followed by the first digital possibilities. Print-on-demand and trade publication has followed more recently. In this area, the artist has been a pioneer in the application of developing design and print technologies.