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12 Campbell Street, Castlemaine

195 High Street, Kangaroo Flat (Bendigo)

in memory of

Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson

14th November 1958 - 30th October 2020


Sadly we found out how fragile life is. My beautiful husband Peter died unexpectedly. Apart from being my husband and amazing father to Ben, Peter was a poet, artist, writer, critic (always constructive), mentor and many other things to many people.  

He has left a gaping hole in our lives that we will slowly mend.

Jenny Bartholomew


Suddenly yet peacefully while swimming.

Devoted husband and father, much loved son, brother and cousin, treasured uncle and dear nephew.

Missed by all his family: Jenny, Ben, Peter, Gweneth, William, John, Janet, Andrew, Elisabeth, Sarah, Christopher, Linda, Desislava, Yen, Volker, Nicola, Vashti, Liam, Oscar, Jasmine, Cosima, Isadora, En, Xuan, Otto, Tristan, Saskia, Jack, Noah, Caylan, Tahlia, Joseph, Shirley, Helen, Carol and Mark.

A devastating loss. 

Loved and remembered always.


Due to current restrictions, a private funeral was held for Peter on Thursday 12th November at the Sutton Grange Cemetery. 

If you wish to watch Peter's service, it has been placed below on this tribute page. 

You may also like to leave a personal message for Peter's family.

Funeral Livestream


29 responses to “Peter Anderson”

  1. Sandra McLean says:

    Peter was my visual arts critic when I was arts editor at The Courier-Mail. I was in awe of his knowledge and a little bit confounded at how I would edit/shorten his copy to fit into the alotted space on the page. He always defeated me with a smile on his face and the richness of his copy. He was always one to bend to the rules and I loved working with him and breaking rules together. I think of him warmly now as does my husband Phil Brown a fellow poet and visual art fiend – and now Arts Editor. Our sincere sympathies to the family from us both.

  2. Toby Miller says:

    I was lucky enough to be Peter’s co-worker, friend, roommate (he rescued me), running partner, and fellow-swimmer in Brisbane before the discourse of the creative industries. We’d run from his apartment downtown to the Valley Pool, swim, then run back. So it is especially sad, yet also moving in a positive sense, to learn that he passed away doing something he loved. As the words above say, Peter was a multi-talented and immensely generous intellectual and artist. I treasure his memory and wish his loved ones every good thing at a time of such tragic loss.

  3. Tom Burless says:

    I will very much miss my erratic curbside encounters with Peter and hearing about his passions, his family, art and the history of the Queensland art scene.

  4. John Waller says:

    Hi Peter, sad to see you go. We’ve must have known each other for 40 odd years, since the early ’eighties, helping out with the relocation of the Institute of Modern Art from Market Street to Edward Street, and the setting up of the Art Workers Union (Qld), as well as general involvement in the Artist Run scene in Brisbane at the time. And re-acquainting ourselves when you arrived in Victoria in the late ’nineties / early ’naughties. You helped me out with bits and pieces of writing for catalogues, invitation blurbs, grant applications and the like, not to mention extended chats both in person and on the phone.
    You’ll be missed.

  5. Rosa Montague says:

    I will miss sharing a lane with you at Fitzroy pool.
    You were always witty, full of insights and such fun.
    I enjoyed your challenge in freestyle sprints, but why did you have to do that ridiculous breaststroke?

    Life will be duller without you.

  6. Robyn Stewart says:

    It was with great sadness that I heard of Peters passing.

    My deepest condolences to Jenny, Ben and the Anderson families, I am deeply sorry for your loss of such a good man.
    Peter lived his life with Passion and followed his Dreams to write and create. A true Artist.

    So many memories of our time together, especially the Art Scene in Brisbane in the 1990’s.

    Rest in peace, Peter.

    Be strong Jenny and Ben.

    Love always
    Robyn Stewart

  7. Shirley Pitcher says:

    After this it was noised abroad that Mr Valiant-for-truth was taken
    with a Summons by the same Post as the other, and had this for a Token that
    the Summons was true, That his Pitcher was broken at the Fountain. When he
    understood it, he called for his Friends, and told them of it. Then said he, I
    am going to my Fathers, and tho’ with great difficulty I am got hither, yet
    now I do not repent me of all the Trouble I have been at to arrive where I am.
    My Sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my Pilgrimage, and my Courage
    and Skill to him that can get it. My Marks and Scars I carry with me, to be a
    witness for me that I have fought his Battles who now will be my Rewarder.
    When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the
    Riverside, into which as he went he said, Death, where is thy Sting? And as he
    went down deeper he said, Grave, where is thy Victory? So he passed over, and
    all the Trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

  8. Traude Beilharz, Elizabeth and James Morrison says:

    Dear Jenny, Ben, Elisabeth and the Anderson clan,

    We knew Peter as the enigmatic man of few words waiting for Ben out the front of circus oz at pick-up time.

    He was so clearly a devoted father.

    Our hearts are with you, he was too young to go.

  9. Rex Lavers says:

    Peter will be much missed by the Fitzroy Pool community.

    He always came in with a cheerful greeting to staff and those who shared his space in the pool.

    I hope we can continue to be a welcoming place for Jenny and Ben, and support them in their grief.

  10. Anna Zsoldos says:

    Peter, I fondly remember our times together at the share house that Lehan and I lived at in Haig Road, Milton…hanging out in the kitchen and rambling back yard that are so quintessentially Brisbane. You were passionate and thoughtful…and then our paths crossed again many years later when you were curating the Brisbane artist run space exhibition and we reminisced about ‘The Observatory’ and others over a cuppa in my lounge room in Merlynston.

    So shocked and sad to see you leave us so soon – you’ll be missed Peter Anderson…travel well x

  11. Michelle, Pete & Darcy Doolan says:

    Our deep condolences Jenny and Ben on your loss. As a neighbour, a friend, a part of our Westgarth St community for so many years, Pete’s presence will be sorely missed. We will miss those random g’days as we emerged from our front doors opposite, the car-wash conversations in the street, the neighbours’ street parties or election night gatherings.

    Pete, was so knowledgeable, sociable and a good talker about wide-ranging topics from the philosophical to the trivial: from the arts; politics; geology of central Vic.; local Yarra council planning issues; down to the seasonal irritant of the street’s plane tree fuzz, or the parking officers.

    Pete D will particularly miss Pete’s animated conversations as they shared the joy of being “older than most” fathers, on their walks with Ben and Darcy (and the hounds) to the school drop or from pickup.
    Rest in peace, Peter.

    You will live on in our memories and in our hearts,
    Michelle, Pete & Darcy

  12. Helen Tuckey says:

    Treasured memories of my cousin Peter

    Our cute baby photo together with Grandma and Grandpa.
    Riding in a mini train as toddlers.

    Children together in the hills of Alice Springs, building cubbies out of corrugated tin
    The monopoly games in steamy Darwin where the fan scattered the money out through the louvered windows when someone had had enough.
    Rainforest adventures in Cardstone.

    Long chats in Brisbane.

    The letters, postcards, emails, shared FB posts, long phone calls.
    Shared memories of the experience of the Australian Arts crescendo of 1970s-80s, insights and angsts about the status quo and hopes for the future.
    Love of family, family histories (warts and all!) and appreciation of ourselves and the complexities of individuals in families.

    Much love to Jen and Ben and all the family,
    Forever in our hearts.

  13. Melissa Marino says:

    Peter was such a fixture of the neighbourhood, striding through the Fitzroy streets with the dogs, head held high.

    I will miss seeing him with his beautiful family and my heart is aching for Jenny and Ben.

    Thinking of you with much love and big virtual hugs. x

  14. Alison Knott says:

    I recall many conversations in the park in North Fitzroy with Pete about his early life.
    Changing the nappies of siblings, being a cherished and nurturing brother, all formative experiences that no doubt shaped the wonderful father he became. I also recall with some delight, the glee in his eyes as he danced toward his beloved Jenny singing “red wine, red wine” after another gorgeous party for Ben.

    A true gentleman of Fitzroy – we’re so sorry that you’ve gone.

  15. Robert Heather says:

    Dear Peter,

    I am incredibly saddened by your passing and remember our late night conversations about art, life and everything in Brisbane, Cairns, Mackay, Sutton Grange, Melbourne and Armidale over the past couple of decades.

    Your passion, intellect and support always made a difference and I already miss you.


  16. Ian Hunter says:

    I got to know Peter well at Griffith uni during the 1980s, where I was one of his teachers and he was one of my interlocutors and friends. Peter was intellectually engaged, brilliant, and opinionated —often infuriatingly so! But he was never less than a delightful, forthright, and good-natured person. And that is how he is fondly remembered by all of his Griffith friends. I saw him again last year, and found that he hadn’t changed a bit. I mourn his untimely passing, and send love and best wishes to his family, loved ones and friends.

  17. Liam Anderson says:

    20 something years ago uncle Pete passed down his electric guitar, which was my first, and everything snowballed from there.

    I’m never letting go of that.

  18. Stuart Laverie says:

    Pete will always be the one who gathered all the joy, happiness and love in the world together, wrapped it up with wonderful nonsensicalness and good humour, and delivered it with the utmost kindness and devotion to his Jen and Ben: a gift that will live forever.

  19. Michele Helmrich says:

    I am shocked and saddened by Peter’s passing. Much too young, with so much more to give. So many memories of our young selves and those who coalesced around art and poetry in Brisbane and Hobart in the late 1970s and 1980s. Peter, your contributions have been many, all filled with intelligence, integrity and energy, edged with kindness and humour. My warmest wishes to Jen, Ben and all the wonderful Anderson family.

  20. Brian Doherty and Jane Richens says:

    So glad we had the opportunity to participate at Peter’s funeral. Even at such a distance we felt the warmth and love. Thanks Jen and Ben, family and friends, and all involved. We are sure Peter will feel very at home among the gum trees! of Sutton Grange. So sad, so sudden, so unexpected. It has been hard to come to terms with but being part of this gathering has helped.
    We have known Peter since the early 1980s in Brisbane’s art scene where he supported, participated, and challenged with his seemingly endless talents and intellect – writer, critic, poet, performer, academic, song writer, activist, artist. He could, and did, sew up his own shirts while having an intelligent and entertaining conversation about the most arcane detail, especially if it related to art and society. He loved a good paradox and he cared deeply for those around him. You could always rely on Peter’s support and good counsel. He was courageous and insightful, playful and best of friends. Whatever was going he was always up for it.
    Peter, you were so effervescent yet calm, caring and deep thinking all at the same time. Your passion so rapidly articulated always took our breath away. Your contribution to the orbit of the Brisbane arts scene and our lives as artworkers was immense and generous. We loved reconnecting when we did and cherish your visits to Dungog with Jen & Ben a few years back.
    Jen and Ben we send our deepest love with such heavy hearts.
    Goodbye Peter our dear friend.

  21. sal hart says:

    Ha, yes it’s all been said so well by you all. Thank you.
    I loved how he enjoyed a good laugh, his humour was contagious , his smile…. and his incredible support of the arts…. love sal

  22. Michael Cross says:

    I was lucky enough to share many holiday adventures with Pete, Jen and Benny.

    Pete was a precision car boot packer, a brisk walker, a singer of silly songs in silly voices, a protective and loving father and husband and so many more things.

    Will miss you Pete.

  23. Sara Harrington says:

    I would see Pete pretty regularly at the dog park or school pickup and would always be guaranteed a long, lively and erudite conversation. I was in awe of how switched-on and enthusiastic he was, whether talking about art, his PhD, job-hunting (we shared some fun horror stories!), family, swimming, cycling or just life in general. I’m really going to miss those chats.

    He carved out a beautiful life with Jen and Ben, one which leaves traces that won’t ever be diminished.

    Sending our deepest sympathies.

    Sara, Mick and Evie

  24. Helen Bartholomew says:

    A wonderful and such a different service conducted yesterday by Bishop Ron Stone. Pete would be so proud of Jenny and Ben and all the participants. Pete was a wonderful son-in-law and I was so fortunate to have him in my life. I will miss him.

  25. M-L Edwards says:

    Intensely serious and absurdly funny. Observant, questioning, insightful. Often difficult, holding himself to high standards. Extremely generous and kind. Heartily enjoyed long meandering, complex discussion. Loved a good disagreement. Witty, playful, engaging. Supportive and encouraging of others. When Peter moved to Victoria we knocked the sharp edges off each other and found much common ground. Many happy memories of rowdy dinners with Jenny, Pete and friends. Long road trips to exhibitions, talking, laughing. No sitting on the fence! Peter was my teacher in 1985, for a time, my adversary, and later my friend. Well-loved and happy in life with Jen and Ben. Unforgettable and dearly missed, Thank you Peter xxx

  26. Volker Beilharz says:

    Indeed Mr Valiant-for-Truth!
    How much I appreciated that about him.
    I was still looking forward to many further conversations with Pete (about G Murnane amongst other things).
    Not to be in this life.
    Will be sadly missed.
    Much love to Jen and Ben

  27. Chris McAuliffe says:

    Peter moved in and out of both my professional and personal life over the years. His presence was always an occasion, and often came with an agenda attached—there was an entrenched art historical habit to be challenged, a moment in art to be rediscovered, a case of unjustifiable neglect to be remedied. Peter brought qualities to the conversation that were too often in short supply: rigorous attention to sources and a determination to see structures and ideas rather than trends and movements. Peter was a great advocate for cultures emerging in art, music and literature in Brisbane. His profound commitment to locality—not scenes and nostalgia, but belief in the value of the worlds artists make—is a model for criticism and curating. And it was Peter’s generous loan of his Harcourt home that triggered my relocation to Central Victoria.

  28. Sara Breckenridge says:

    Peter, I have been blessed to have you be a part of my life here in Brisbane for but a brief moment in time.
    One day I’ll swing by Sutton Grange to say gidday.
    My prayers and thoughts are with Jen and Ben.

  29. Maryanne Lynch says:

    It’s taken me a while to write to you, Jen and Ben. My Peter (same age as your Peter) died unexpectedly two years before yours. Both Peters knew each other across Brisbane, Melbourne and Sutton Grange. As did I know your Peter. Not so much of recent times but always with a fondness in my heart. And aware, from a distance, of his gratitude to you two for coming into his life, and his enormous love for you both. I don’t think I can say much more now as I am very sad for you but I have been thinking of you, and of your Peter, across this dark and difficult time. And wish for you both blue skies and fluffy white clouds ahead.

Funeral Details

At the request of the family, a private service was held.