William Peers studied at Falmouth Art College after which he was apprenticed to a stone-carver, Michael Black, who urged him to work slowly and entirely by hand. Peers worked in the marble quarries of Carrara, Italy, and later spent time in Corsica where he found a tranquil retreat to work and develop his ideas. His earliest carvings were figurative and followed the long history of English stone carving brought to prominence by Henry Moore and Eric Gill.
In the 1990s Peers moved to north Cornwall and there followed a period of fifteen years where he exclusively carved relief sculptures in Hornton Stone. Over time his work has become increasingly abstract. In 2007 he created a large series of work in Portuguese marble. The change of material had a dramatic effect on the style of his work. In 2010 he embarked on a series ‘100 Days: Sketched in Marble’ in which he carved a marble sculpture each day for one hundred days. Working repeatedly within a time limit led him to a bolder approach to carving. Recently the relationship between positive and negative shapes has become an interest, and several larger works for the landscape have seen a dramatic change in scale in his work.
In his latest exhibitions, ‘The Space Between’ and ‘A Line in Space’, Peers has been exploring the relationship between positive and negative shapes. Removing more marble allows the negative shapes to play a greater part, and the focus is not only on the marble contours, but on the air that surrounds them. A conversation is taking place between matter and space.