The Man Behind the Can Art Series

“Art is a spiritual journey for the attainment of divine self. Art and design are beyond mere passion – it is life.”

These were words shared by local artist, Peter Elavera, who hails from a mix parentage of Kerowaghi, Chimbu Province, and Tovafiru, Kerema, Gulf Province.

“I have been creating art and design since high school. It has since been 25 years of exploration, experimenting and exponential growth in art and design.”

Elavera has partnered with South Pacific Brewery to feature some of his designs on the famous South Pacific Export Larger (white can), this year.

The artist was born in Magarima, Hela Province in 1974 but was raised between Chimbu Province and Morobe Province, between 1974 and 1984. Towards the end of 1984 his father transferred to Port Moresby, where he has lived ever since.

Elavera graduated from the University of Papua New Guinea’s Creative Art School, in 1995, majoring in Graphic Design and Communication.

After ten years of formal employment, Elavera decided that a nine-hour office job wasn’t the routine he wanted to engage in. In 2006, he resigned from his then formal employment and ventured into establishing an SME to pursue his passion in art in 2019.

“I realised that my creative and artistic prowess would become stagnant if I confined myself in formal employment – like a bird in cage.”

Equipped with his skills in and armed with courage, Elavera established ToolBoox Production.

“Being self-employed is conducive to my creative freedom to flourish – to explore innovative ideas. But that was the easy part. The hard part was to exercise discipline and stay focused, away from the attraction of social activities.

“The best part about being an artist is that you get to enjoy countless moments of fascination, creative fun and an endless fountain of kaleidoscopic ideas. There is never a minute of boredom,” said the 47-year old artist.

“Some highlights of my career:

  • Designer in the production of the 30-metre Jungle Faces Mural that was installed at the Jackson’s international airport arrival lounge.
  • My prized art/design work took 12 months to complete. The size included; 769 metres circumference, 102 concrete slabs measuring six metres in length and 2.5 metres in height, 1000 liters of acrylic paints and 500 pieces of drawings and design. That is what it took to conquer the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium “Unity Wall” mural painting – the culminating pinnacle of my journey as an artist.
  • Beer garden wall at SPB Lae.
  • SP Brewery Wall, Port Moresby.
  • Can designs on the famous South Pacific Export Lager.

“It’s an honour to see my designs on the SP Export Lager can. Knowing that the can is available not only in Port Moresby but throughout the country. This means my art will reach a wider audience. It’s a great feeling.

“I am grateful to SP Brewery, through the SP Export Lager brand, to give me this opportunity to showcase my talent by featuring my designs on a premium beer product that has won international recognition.

“Not a lot of Papua New Guinean artists get that kind of exposure nor experience so for me, it’s a great boost to my career.”

Elavera also acknowledged the invaluable assistance from Kenny Aua, Titus Clement and Tom Joel for assisting with 26 artwork designs on the SP Export Lager Can Art Series.

“In my journey as an artist, I had the privilege to rub shoulders and collaborate with prominent Papua New Guinean artists like Martias Kauage, Jakupa Ako, William Takaku, Albert Toro, Kilori Susuve, Fransisca Semoso, Gickmai Kundun, Martin Morububuna, Bob Browne (Grassroots comic creator), Steven Waine, Pius Wasi, Bail Greg, Dika Dai, Wamsi Ilau, Chief John Kasaipwalova, Nora Vagi Brash, Prof. Steven Winduo (literary artist) and Ruth Choulai,” added Elavera, when reflecting on his experience over the years.

For the SP Export Lager can art series, these designs will be captured on the white can as a Limited Edition for only one year.

So far, designs for East New Britain, Manus, NCD, New Ireland, Simbu, Central, Mt Hagen, East/West Sepik and Enga Province are currently out in market, throughout PNG. 16 other designs will be revealed later this year.