LAST week saw the official opening of an evocative one-man exhibition of mainly oil-on-canvas paintings of Zimbabweâ€™s majestic, mountainous Eastern Highlands at Richard Rennie Galleries, Downie Avenue, Alexandra Park.
Despite extreme short notice in announcing the solo show, its closeness to the end of year holidays and stormy weather a good turnout of art-lovers and investors, family, friends and neighbours was achieved for Peter Meikleâ€™s debut Harare showing, which runs until late December.
Meikle (28) was born in South Africa, coming at the age of six to Zimbabwe, to the family farm in Penhalonga.
Contemporaries say he showed a natural artistic talent at a young age and was consistently at the top of his art classes at school, at Ruzawi and then Peterhouse, both in Marondera. Â
A largely self-taught artist, Meikle has worked on many commission pieces and held a private exhibition in Mutare in 2003 with great critical and commercial acclaim. He has also sold his work successfully through The Studio Gallery at Doon Estate, Msasa, in Harare.
His art has included a broad range of subjects from land and seascapes to portraits and wildlife, mostly in pencil and pastel, though he has since moved away from wildlife art. Â
He has recently focused on oil painting, especially after spending a short time with internationally-renowned Zimbabwean artist Larry Norton, learning invaluable techniques and effective use of the medium: the direct result of which was his recent exhibition at the Richard Rennie Gallery, owned and run by Judy Ballantyne.
Â This show featured landscapes of his native Eastern Highlands, a subject he is eager to explore further.
He has always tried to create highly realistic images that portray a special sense of being in the scene. He aims to continue this with his new found interest and confidence in painting in oils, being particularly inspired by classical realist painters of the past.
Peter Meikle lives and works in Penhalonga, and is currently planning exhibitions to be held in both Zimbabwe and South Africa.
BY DUSTY MILLER