Peter Ursem graduated in Literature from the University of Utrecht and in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague.
In 1998 Peter moved to England. Living and working in Dorset until 2011, landscape gradually became the main subject matter in his work. However, his interest in language and words remained ever present, with a particular interest in the graphic form of text.
In 2000 Peter Ursem received an Arts Council ‘Year of the Artist’ Award for ‘Reflections, a Book of Woodcuts of the River Stour’. Following this, he immersed himself in exploring relief printing techniques, in particular lino cuts and woodcuts.
In 2005 the series ‘Intimate Space Artist Face’ brought text works (in lino) together with portrait woodcuts. In 2006 Peter acquired a Victorian Cope & Hopkinson Albion Press, which enabled him to further develop colour printing works, mainly using the lino print ‘reduction technique’. Alongside this ‘painterly’ method of printmaking, drawings and oil paintings became again more prominent in his work.
In 2010 the Dorset County Museum showed ‘Dorset Footprint’, an exhibition of drawings, paintings and prints looking back at Peter’s first decade in England. In 2011 Peter and his wife singer/composer Helen Porter moved to the Tamar Valley, where they set up Gresham House Studios, offering a programme of summer singing and art courses in one of England’s most inspirational landscapes.
In 2016 Peter added fiction writing to his portfolio and, as Petrus Ursem, published his first novel (for young readers), ‘The Fortune of the Seventh Stone’. He has since then continued writing and publishing.
In a solo exhibition at Plymouth College of Art in 2017, entitled ‘As the River Flows’, Peter showed a comprehensive overview of drawings, paintings and prints in response to the landscape of the Tamar Valley.
In 2020 Peter opened the Gresham House Studio-Gallery, showing a continuous exhibition of his work and that of selected other artists.