Flowers have long held the role of muse, their aesthetic, olfactory, and tactile qualities inspiring artists throughout history. Hackett invests in this tradition while engaging with a contemporary framework; observing and presenting his subject in a magnetic commingling of abstract and figurative representation that invokes a heady and enchanting sense of passion, scent, texture, colour, and presence. Hackett does not consider himself to be a floral artist and has described the presence of the floral form to being akin to a tool, or trigger that he utilises to provide paint and texture agency. The flower, as in nature, draws attention and beckons the viewer to approach. It’s there, Hackett says, when up close, that the real magic is offered and experienced.
After finishing high school in New Zealand, Hackett travelled to Paris where he studied under the guidance of highly respected artists such as Camillo Otero and Susanne Runacher. His time spent at the Paris American Academy of Fine Arts and Languages became the catalyst for the experimentation evident in Hackett’s work in the following decades.
Hackett’s work has been recognised with exhibitions worldwide, and his paintings are represented in significant New Zealand and international collections. He has been a finalist in several major art awards including the Air New Zealand Art Award, The Nola Holmwood Memorial Portrait Prize, The Elder Este Art Award, and The Windsor and Newton Art Award.
Parnell Gallery has represented Peter Hackett since 2012.