Peter Daglish was born in 1930 in Gillingham, England. He came to Canada in 1955, and from 1956 to 1960 studied art and pedagogy at École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal. He then completed post-graduate studies in Montreal and New York and at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Oil painting was his earliest interest but he later focused on linocuts and lithography. He accepted an early teaching post at UVic in 1969, where he taught drawing and printmaking until 1971. Even at this early point in his career, he brought an international level of knowledge of contemporary art, experimenting with a wide range of media (textiles, plastics, props, performance, and mail art projects). As a jazz musician, he was also active in the music scene wherever he resided.
Daglish has been described as a methodical and disciplined artist. Former student and Governor General’s award winner Eric Metcalfe described his work as “sensuous, humourous and technically virtuosic.” Donald Harvey (artist, professor and former chair of the Visual Arts Department at UVic) referred to him as “arguably one of the greatest colourists since Matisse.” Following his time at the University of Victoria, Daglish taught printmaking at the Chelsea School of Art in London from 1973 to 1995 and concurrently taught printmaking and painting at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1973 to 1996. He also gave many courses in India.
In addition to UVic’s permanent collection, Peter Daglish’s work is found in public collections worldwide including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Gallery, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Portland Museum of Fine Art.