Peter Fitzpatrick is the Chair of the Photography Department at Columbia College Chicago. He completed a Masters of Fine Arts Research at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW Sydney. In Australia he has shown his work with the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery, Plimsoll Gallery, Australian Centre for Photography, Casula Powerhouse, Centre for Contemporary Photography and a number of galleries in New Zealand including the Adam Art Gallery in Wellington. In 2001 Fitzpatrick was the recipient of the National Photographic Purchase Award from Albury Regional Art Gallery. The Australia Council funded Peter in 2008 to be an artist in residence at the Meet Factory in Prague. His has been exhibited at the Pingyao International Photography festival in China during 2010.

Address:  c/- 600 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago Illinois 60605-1996 USA

Phone: +1 312 369 7286        

Email: - contact relating to artist practice
 - contact relating to Columbia College Chicago


2003 -2007            Masters of Fine Art, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales

1988                    Graduate Diploma in Professional Art Studies, City Art Institute

1985-1987             Graduate with Distinction, Bachelor of Arts, Visual Arts. Nepean C.A.E

Current Position

Chair, Photography Department, Columbia College Chicago.

Photography is the tension of the muscles, the flow of the cerebral juices and the pull of the mechanical and biological irises in unison to focus the subject of interest.

Statement of Practice

My practice led research spans four distinct areas. One area involves the study of the ‘truth systems’ of the photograph; the second investigates the notion of art-science collaborative relationships while the third is concerned with the communicative process of the narrative tableau. A fourth area of interest is concentrating on the phenomena of inkjet technology.

The first of these areas is illustrated in the projects “Latitude 79 degrees 50 minutes south 11 miles” and “The Douglas Summerland Collection” that are both fictional “monographically based history”[1]. In essence this research is concerned with the current debates about history recording, authenticity of the photograph, methods of history construction and how the audience digests new ‘knowledge’. It is the contemporary angst over the use of photographs in the depiction of history that is the central concern of this work. The conversation takes place in the public institution, the very subject it critiques.

The second area of research ‘Spin’ relates to the current interest in art-science collaborations in particular how science theory can influence art practice. The research aims to produce a new informative imaging process by using the laser beams, at the Photonics Research Centre ANU, and Charged Couple Device (CCD) technology of varied resolutions. Linear array and matrix CCDs are used in digital scanners and cameras to translate light energy into digital information. By burning these with lasers I am striving to construct a new drawing technique that illustrates some of the key components of quantum physics theory of Zero Light technology.

My third area of interest, narrative tableau, has been the longest running and is born out of interest in the communicative powers of the photograph and the thin line between truth and fiction. My latest narrative series  Je toto lokální, nebo národní zvyk?” was produced during a five-month artist-in-residence program at the Meet Factory in Prague, Czech Republic from November 2007 to April 2008. I was living in the outer suburb of Prague of Smíchov, a once thriving industrial area that now consists of abandoned factory buildings, crumbling flats and a major transport hub. I don’t present my self in the photographs; I portray the transitory people that inhabit this part of Prague. I live with them and their mannerisms until I am ready to perform their story to the camera. Some of the stories are new; some are relived. All are fragments.

In the fourth area of investigation I bypass the analogue photo simulations that inkjet technology can produce and focus on the possible materiality this technology offers the photo-based image. From this stand point the process is a matter of explication of the event performed and capture in front of the lens. I’m currently dealing with the suspension of UV cured inks in binder mediums.

Whether I am working on narrative sequences, historical myths or explorations into digital light functions; selection, study and insignificance of subjects are what are relevant. I fix my attention on what most would consider the ‘Noise’ of life.

[1] Anne-Marie Willis Picturing Australia: A History of Photography.