Born in London, Piers trained at Chelsea School of Art in the 1970’s and has been painting professionally ever since. He moved to West Sussex in 1980 and set up The Mill Studio Art School in 1994.
Painting mostly in oils, his subject matter has often been influenced by his travels (to The Alps and Europe) but he always returns to painting from the human form, London and local Sussex landscapes.
Pier’s work has been exhibited in London, the provinces and abroad and can be found in private and corporate as well as public collections around the world. In June 2007 Piers won the University of Bath painting prize.
The paintings are very personal with a mischievous quality, bordering on the subversive. There is also the issue of the ‘code’ of colours often seen around the edge of his canvasses. These form a diary; a record of all the colours used to make the image and in the order they were made and used. For Piers, the edges of the picture are important, so is the geometry between the edge and the centre. The square is his most common format; primary red and blue form his initial drawing.
“Surface quality should be special” he says and all viewers should feel free to feel the surface of the work.
The Zimmer Stewart Gallery, based in Arundel, have shown Piers Ottey’s work for a number of years now; James Stewart, founder and director says “Piers Ottey’s exhibitions are always exciting, original and well attended. He is one of the few artists we have had sell-out shows with.”
Mary Rose Beaumont, art historian and critic, writes “Artists with a sense of humour are agile, deft and defy categorisation, which is wonderfully refreshing when the work is as challenging as is Piers Ottey’s. He revels in his power to puzzle the viewer, both visually in the paintings and verbally in some of his titles. He has a propensity to leave out important features in his landscapes whilst still titling them as if they were there, in other words the artist plays at being a conjuror.”