Variation blue

Born Worcestershire, England 1931, arrived Victoria, Australia 1950


After his initial art training in the United Kingdom, Owen Piggott relocated to the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and enrolled at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. His first exhibition at the Argus Gallery in Melbourne in 1964 included a number of abstract designs that alluded to cell or seed structures.

An excursion to central Australia in 1964 provided a transformative experience for the artist and ushered in a new phase of work, one that explored the landscape using symbolic elements and figures. Emblematic abstraction, featuring squares, circles and other geometric forms, was being explored by several other artists working in Melbourne at this time, including Leonard French, Roger Kemp, Asher Bilu, Lawrence Daws and Jan Senbergs. These artists believed that through their highly symbolic abstract works, higher levels of consciousness could be contemplated and linked to other representations of life or metaphysical narratives.

In 1967 Piggott visited the exhibition Two decades of American Painting at the National Gallery of Victoria. This exposure to gestural abstraction, colour field and pop art paintings, was to become highly influential on Piggott’s practice.

In 1998 a retrospective of his work was held at the Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, Victoria. His work is represented in the collections of the Queensland Art Gallery and regional and university galleries.