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 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 more bold approach to carving. Recently Peers has been exploring the relationship between positive and negative shapes. Removing more marble allows the negative shapes to play a greater part – the focus shifts between the marble contours and the air around them.
Past exhibitions include solo exhibitions with John Martin Gallery and Everard Read London as well as group exhibitions in New York, San Francisco and Cape Town. Public exhibitions include On Form at Asthall Manor, Woburn Abbey and Glyndebourne.
“Stone seems to carry the intention of the carver like a memory; I believe it holds that memory through time for those who care to look. The stone tells the story and hides nothing. Perhaps it is this crystallisation of thought and time that attracts me to it. Freezing nuggets of time as it gently slips by, leaving markers on the path like Hansel and Gretel with their pebbles.”