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Pete Codling Artist Portrait Surrealist Man with beard and lobster phone

Portrait by Paul Gonella


Born in Zambia in 1969, to a “very Irish mother and very English father”, Pete Codling lived in Cornwall, Scotland and London before settling in Portsmouth, his hometown.

At sixteen he went straight to Portsmouth College of Art & Design (1986 -1991) and then to East London Polytechnic to complete his BA Fine Art in Sculpture. From there to Wimbledon School of Art to study Site Specific Sculpture (1992 -93) and transferring back to The University of Portsmouth to complete his Masters Degree in 1994.

He has had an established career as a sculptor and designer of public artworks, receiving commissions from Local Government and for Lottery-funded regeneration projects throughout the UK. Using a variety of materials and scale he has created community projects commissioned to give local populations a sense of place, engagement, empowerment, and ownership.

A lifelong drawer, Pete formerly relied upon drawing as a method of investigating forms in 3D for sculpture, using drawing as a tool of fabrication and understanding rather than a medium in its own right. He has spent the last decade producing a large body of work on paper focused on narrative figurative drawing, inspired by his residencies and  personal journey. His drawings have now attracted many exhibitions, awards and publications.

At 50, Portsmouth City Council gave him a ‘Life Time Achievement Award in 2020’ for his contribution to the city, alongside winning ‘Best Visual Artist’ in The Guide Awards. He won the London Biennale 2021, and is currently Artist in Residence at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. His latest big drawing 'Kinship', is currently on show at Southampton City Gallery with The National Portrait Gallery 'Creative Connections' exhibition.

Follow his social media pages via the links below;


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Since 2010, Pete has dedicated himself to developing a portfolio of large-scale charcoal drawings, now based in an atelier-style gallery on Castle Road, Southsea.

“Querying the essence of what it is to be ‘human’ in the age of Artificial Intelligence. His traditional, pictorial use of charcoal is an attuned and sensitive counterbalance within the contemporary art scene.”

On this website you will find a selected portfolio of contemporary drawing and sculpture from the last decade. His public art and sculpture commissions continue to support his drawing studio practice as he works towards a major exhibition that will try and tie the creative diversity of his work together in a retrospective.

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