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.
In 2014 he was awarded a PhD studentship at Portsmouth, to pursue his philosophical interest in drawing titled ‘Dust to Data’. (This is currently on hold for commissions and family commitments as a single parent). He is a regular Artist in Residence, Visiting Lecturer and Associate Lecturer at the local Universities as well as running his own studio and gallery space.
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 ceramic, steel, concrete, bronze, resin, wood and stone carving, he has created community projects commissioned to give local populations a sense of place, engagement, empowerment, and ownership.
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.
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.
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 new digital age, 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.