top of page

The backstory


Peter Delahenty is an Australian artist. He was born in Melbourne in 1952. From an early age he had an overwhelming interest in painting and drawing. This in conjunction with a highly creative and experimental personality brought him to the love of art. His main inspiration since childhood has been the nature of the world and the Australian bush in particular. This being so he moved from Mount Waverley, an affluent suburb of Melbourne, to the Dandenong Ranges in 1975. It was here that he immersed in creating art work in response to the extraordinary beauty of the Australian rainforest.




It was 1972. As happens in youth a group of young friends were talking at a party in suburban Melbourne. The drinks flowed as did the ideas. One young man had heard of a haunted house in the outback, the Wonnangatta Station which was located in a remote area in the Victorian Alps. Two unsolved murders had occurred there in 1917. This sounded exciting. So a bush trek to the station was planned and in January 1972 the group of young men ventured into the wilderness. This was their first experience of a true rugged wilderness. The team were inexperienced bushwalkers and soon became lost in this rugged country in Australia. After 4 days of wandering in the bush the young men finally found their way out. but in the process they came very close to perishing. This event had a profound effect on Peter. It was much like the walkabout experienced by young aborigines in their passage towards manhood.


Upon returning to Melbourne he immediately enrolled in art classes and studied landscape painting under Melbourne artist William Shiels.


Peter did not leave it at that. He wanted to try all mediums available to the artist. As a young man he was very keen on Tolkiens Lord of the Rings. He aimed to mix the imagination inspired from reading the fantasy epic an Australian flavour. He concentrated on mixed media, Ink and Watercolour. Drawing was his passion, fantasy art his preferred subject and the bush his inspiration.


In 1978 Peter decided he would never be happy unless he dedicated his entire life to full time painting. He was 26 at the time and was managing businesses. The career choice was much less secure and certainly the renumeration was non-existant in the early days. But he pushed on locked away in his two storey mansion in Ferny Creek, which he could no longer afford. For a solid year he experienced the various mediums available through experimentation sequestered from the rest of the world in his bushland home.


For financial reasons Peter moved to a more affordable location in Olinda. This is now his home and the site of the current studio. He has lived there for 41 years, and it has a long and colourful history of an artist in the hills. Peter is a very social and colourful personality known personally for his humour and hospitality.


During the 1980's Peter's profession was as a ceramic sculptor. He became very well known in the Wildlife Art community for his sculptures of Australian birds and animals. He was an exhibiting and awarded member of the Wildlife Art Society of Australasia. His passion for his subject grew into a desire to help in their conservation. Peter was elected to Sherbrooke Shire Council in 1989. His platform was wildlife conservation and in particular confining cats to inside people's homes to control their predation on wildlife in the sensitive locality of the Dandenong Ranges



bottom of page