Peter Mason


In conversation with Humph Hack - Curator


In his youth, Peter spent a lot of his time drawing in the countryside, “any excuse to miss school”. A young art teacher encouraged him to attend day release at Lichfield Art School and when the principle of the College of Art at Stafford visited one day he was shown his drawings. 

Peter told me, “As a result, I was accepted to study art there, but because of a mix-up over my date of birth, meant I had to repeat my intermediate year”. This gave him even more time to explore other artists and techniques.

After qualifying with the N.D.D. Peter attended the University of Leeds to gain the extra qualification to teach. Many art students take a similar route after qualifying.

“I began teaching at a secondary school in Lichfield, then Leeds, Liverpool and eventually over 30 enjoyable years at Manor Farm school, Walsall.” While there he was able also to have a year sabbatical to complete his M.A.

The best thing about the Walsall school was that it was less academic. “It gave me more opportunity to create alongside the pupils where influences of modern art and especially pop artists like Warhol and Lichtenstein were popular”.

He encouraged his own two children to collect ‘First day issues’ of postage stamps, many of which he used as good examples of graphic art to show his students.

“I designed a large portrait as an example of structure and facial proportion but decided to create it with used postage stamps as a collage.” This became popular with pupils to make and with adults to buy. He was encouraged, even more, by the then curator of The site went on to sell many of his collages in the UK, Europe, Australia and USA.

“Most of the stamps I use are ‘used’ – removed from their envelope and with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The design is by a then Stoke On Trent Wedgewood worker named Machin and produced at Walsall Lithographic” He was fortunate enough to be allowed to take pupils to view stamps being produced in sheets of a thousand.

Peter continues to enjoy using postage stamps in his art, but as we all know, stamps have changed. He told me that, “Future work will also include more collage experiments with a variety of materials and larger scale designs”, but even there the changes to materials used in posters for billboards could be an issue for him.

For the celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee he was fortunate to get a commission to design and make a portrait panel over 16’ x 12’ using almost 30,000 postage stamps.

His ‘hero,’ Roy Lichtenstein, created a design which was over 10 metres x 23 metres, (very large even for him). “My ambition would be to be commissioned to design and make a similar ‘Grande’ piece of work”.

Whatever happens, Peter will continue to find ways of using innovative materials to make great Art while dreaming of a one-man exhibition in a major London gallery. 

March 2024

Selected works

 Click here to see Peter's other works  See Other Featured Artists