Michael Peck

The Narrative

In this world silence is a given. The birds hover, but they do not move. The world is in stasis; frozen in a moment of melancholy. The stillness palpable… the silence so intense that it becomes a sound in its own right, holding the grey mist at distance… but only just….

Michael Peck’s strangely luminescent landscapes recall old sepia-tone photographs. The focus is caught on strange moments, the blur of the trees at times hinting at fog or smoke as the figure looks warily into the distance. A different kind of narrative is unveiled in Peck’s world, one that shares a strange aesthetic with moments from Alfred Hitchcock’s films merged with hints of the surrealism of David Lynch. The monochromatic palette, the strong impression of a cinematic still, a sense of pause.

Peck captures a perfect portrayal of emotional isolation, the alienation of young adulthood, the moment of transition between child and grown-up, facing a world both threatening and confusing and facing it very much alone. Every childhood has moments of hidden (and often sullen) reverie, but in Peck’s world those moments are shared by the landscape itself. And when he paints the landscape devoid of humanity it is a blasted flatland, sublime in its simple bleakness.

Peck came to age as an artist at the turn of the millennium, a time fraught with doubt and confusion. Peck responds to this strange new world with lyricism and silent poetry and epics of delicate grandeur, leaving viewers to dwell both on their past and their future.

Extract from the essay Silent Poetry,
Ashley Crawford.