Piers Bateman was born in Perth in 1947 and grew up in Eltham, Victoria where his family moved in 1954. In 1966 he went to London for eighteen months and there began to paint seriously. Returning to Australia in 1968 he held a one man show at his studio in Eltham, leading to exhibitions at the Munster Arms Gallery, Melbourne; Manyung Gallery, Mt Eliza and the Saddlers Court Gallery, Tasmania between the years 1968 and 1971.
In 1969 he built a bush studio near Melbourne; this setting exerted a powerful influence on his work. During this time he also visited the waterfront areas of Williamstown, Port Melbourne and Mornington, resulting in a series of paintings that caught the attention of Australian art critics including Allan McCulloch, and corporate collections such as the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Piers developed a fascination for the sea, its restless qualities providing a balance to the tranquillity and the timeless patience of the bush. A series of Allegorical paintings based on Colleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was exhibited in Melbourne at this time.
In the seventies Bateman met many prominent Australian Artists including Charles Blackman who enthusiastically promoted his work. Other artists, such as Pugh, David Boyd, O'Conner and Lloyd Rees extended encouragement to the young artist.
This period also saw regular painting trips throughout Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. Light aircraft flights over much of western Queensland with artist Mervyn Moriarty in 1973 provided added stimulus to the development of his artistic outlook.
In 1975, Piers spent a year sailing in the Greek Islands aboard a fifty year old motorboat resurrected in Rhodes, eventually sailing to Amsterdam via the French Canals. Before returning to Australia in 1977 he crossed to London and spent two months painting the Thames waterfront.
In 1980, Piers ventured on a trans-Australian painting expedition with Marcus Skipper to Broome, Western Australia via Alice Springs and the Tanami Desert, returning through the Kimberleys, Darwin and Cairns.
Due to the rugged conditions of this trip he experimented with gouache as a medium for the first time. Working on large canvasses in oil back in his studio, the gouache impressions were the basis of his Red Desert Series, a theme he continues to develop. In 1981, Comalco Australia extended an invitation to visit their Weipa operations giving further opportunity to explore remote areas of Australia. Later that year he was the guest of Pilbara Resources Ltd. at their Marble Bar project.
1983 brought the artist back to the Mediterranean, spending almost a year in the Aegean painting. He sailed to Alicante, Spain, where he took a studio for the winter in the Bohemian quarter. In November 1986, Piers returned to Australia.
Between 1986 and 1996, Piers spent a considerable amount of time working and exhibiting in Australia, undertaking several outback trips to the desert regions of central Australia. This included an expedition to the Great Sandy Desert, Western Australia courtesy of Western Mining Ltd.
In 1997, wishing to develop his desert series, Piers set off on an adventure to Eritrea with surrealist photographer Bill Moseley. An exhibition of paintings and photographs from this experience was shown in Melbourne and Sydney.
In 1998, the Australian Embassy in Washington commissioned Bateman to paint a large mural for their conference room. The following year, the embassy hosted a major collection of large Australian works by the artist. The same year saw him invited as Australia's representative at MAC 21, a contemporary Arts Fair in Malaga, Spain.
In 2000, The Vodafone Australian Safari, an international cross-country motor event from Alice Springs to Darwin, invited Bateman as official artist. This provided an opportunity for Bateman to explore the interaction of human activity on the seemingly passive landscape.
2000-2002, Oodnadatta Track and Queensland with exhibitions in Melbourne and Brisbane, return trips to studio in Spain with brief excursions to Morocco to further develop the figure in the landscape and the European origins of modern landscape painting.
In 2007 Piers was invited to exhibit at the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair. His work came to the attention of some prominent people and he was invited to return the following year.
In 2009 Piers was offered and accepted a position at Shanghai Institute of Visual Art (S.I.V.A.) as an Honorary Professor. He currently still holds this position.
“Art is to me the most important thing after survival needs. By art I include of course all the arts. I like to say as a definition of art. Art is the seduction of the senses. Art is to be explored, enjoyed questioned and collected.” Piers Bateman