Peter James Smith's works are a harmonious dichotomy, a symbiosis of science and art, of the physical and the spiritual, and of the present and the past
Peter James Smith's wide interests in science, culture and history coalesce into his distinctive landscape paintings and assemblages, scrawled with poetry, truncated notes, jottings and scientific diagrams. What is arresting about his landscapes in particular is his ability to marry his Romantic style of painting - historically a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature - with scientific vernacular itself, to create what TJ McNamara praises as "an outstanding personal style and achievement".
Keith Stewart elaborates, "Smith paints with an enviable fluency in two abstract languages - mathematics and art - each carefully presented to perform a specific role in his Socratic argument. Both languages strive for elegance, but we are used to seeing them apart, so he uses vernacular painting to seduce. Then through his arcane scientific medium he delivers a sudden virtuosity of spirit."
- Keith Stewart, 'Life Science', Listener, 2 August 1997
He is widely published as a mathematician and holds the degrees BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD with a Master of Fine Art in painting. He has held more than fifty solo shows and has work in both private and public collections in Australia, New Zealand and internationally. He recently retired from the dual roles of Professor of Mathematics and Art, and Head of the School of Creative Media at RMIT University, to paint and write full time.