Artist Statement

3The voyager space crafts, the only man made objects flying out into interstellar space, carries a “golden record” that has images and sounds encrypted on it as a message to anyone who finds it. The record shows a wide spectrum of humanity and earth, from sounds and images to written texts. This idea fascinated me, and I thought what if my artwork where on the voyager space craft floating out in space and another civilisation found it and had only my artwork to infer what human beings and earth was about.

What kind of message would I be relaying to them? I started making artwork with this concept in mind.

I believe that my work is about capturing the human spirit, be that positive or negative or more likely it’s a mixture, and that is how we experience reality.

I believe in the Copernican principle, and I take it to a personal level, where I don’t believe I have a privileged or unique outlook, instead I want to experience the wonders of existence like everyone else and I hope that the viewer can experience the same things as I do.

I am very optimistic about the future of the planet and humanity and believe we are progressing and developing in unprecedented strides. I aim to participate in the advancement of civilisation and see my practice as a constant experimentation, my studio is a sort of laboratory where I push the limits of what I am capable of. I use images as symbolic placeholders for concepts and emotions, that I weave together to form a rich and layered visual poetry. I am interested in pattern, patterns serve as a visual embodiment of cultures, and when civilisations meet they influence and exchange patterns in interesting ways.

Peter Mammes


Peter Mammes was born in Krugersdorp, South Africa on July 6, 1986, Into an Afrikaans-speaking community. He moved to Johannesburg at the age of 11 and attended the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein, where he received his only formal training in art. Interested predominantly in drawing and painting, he had his first solo exhibition at the age of 16.

Peter started working in isolation after high school, developing his drawing skills and making artworks based on medieval European woodcuts. He set up a studio in India in 2013 and later in Russia, where he researched and developed the themes that have become inherent in his work. In 2018 Peter set up a studio in Cairo, Egypt, where he made a series of drawings informed by his research into both ancient Egyptian art and hieroglyphics and contemporary local politics.

 Peter travels extensively around the world to find ideas and imagery for his work, collecting patterns that he finds on stone carvings and reliefs on temples, facades and graves. He was recently commissioned to design a commemorative coin for circulation for the South African mint, released in 2019.

Peter currently resides in London on an exceptional talent visa. His studio is in Tower Hill.