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Featured Artist: Christian Pearson

5th May 2015 Featured Artists

Christian Pearson, from Misheye, has been a client of ours for many years now – 6 years and counting! He works as a commerical photographer within the diverse range of Architecture, Industrial and Landscape photography. Christian has a love for exhibiting and in the past has drawn upon the ordinary found in his commercial work to create a differing perspective for his own visual art.

Christians latest series of work ‘Tagged Animals’ features animals that he has encounted and discovered in the wild and utilises post production techniques to change the context in how we view them – an overall comment on how humans inevitably control wild places. A number of these fascinating images, printed on Canson Infinity Platine, will be displayed at AT_Salon Season 2 at Anita Traverso Gallery from 29 April to 19 July 2014.

Christian’s work will also be on display in our Melbourne Office as our Featured Artist for May, so if you are in Melbourne, come in and have a look. They are the perfect vibrant addition to our office, just as the dreariness of the Melbourne winter is starting to set in!

'Tagged Animals' Series by Christian Pearson

Education and background:
Diploma Of Illustrative Photography majoring in Fine Art at PSC, Bachelor of Biological Science at LaTrobe. I started my very early career life working as an industrial chemist but very shortly thereafter in 2000′ I started my commercial photography business, Misheye, and visual art practice.

Where are you based?
I live in Essendon with my wife, two young daughters and my dog Spinifex. My studio is at Hope Street studios in Brunswick – an old share studio space mixing with other artists such as painters, musicians, fashion designers and architects. In the words of one of the current tenants – ‘it’s a bit like the millennium falcon – it doesn’t look like much but boy can it go’. It’s a very inspiring place to come to work.

How long have you been a visual artist for?
I think ever since I started taking pics seriously I would consider my work to be expressive of some inner conversation I’m having with myself, and that was almost 20 years ago. I held my first solo show at the now defunct Axiom gallery in North Melbourne way back in 1999 so as an exhibiting artist it is 16 years ago.

What do you feel is your biggest achievement to date?
Every time I have a show I feel like I have achieved something significant. It’s an all consuming process that is highly rewarding… and addictive! Exhibiting is the itch I continually need to scratch and from experience, without it my commercial work also suffers greatly. I just have to keep making it!

Early on being a finalist in the New Australian Photo Artist of the year and showing at the ACP in Sydney was a thrill and more recently having work acquired by the National Library of Australia was pretty exciting.

What are your creative influences?
My influences come mainly from nature. I love the harsh random nature of the Australian bush but also revel in its perfect design. I have always loved the work of Mark Rothko, Rosalie Gascoigne, Fred Williams, Joan Miro, Peter Beard and more recently experiencing James Turrell at the NGA was mind blowing. I love art books and books on the quirks of natural history.

What camera/equipment do you use?
I use very minimal equipment. My ethos on life in general is less is more. I am a Nikon user currently shooting with a D800. I am not a gadget person – but i do like a fast lens! I love printing and ever since I bought my Epson, my love of printing has been rekindled since the darkroom at my parents house became inaccessible. Photography for me, whether it be for my art or my commercial work, is always geared towards an end goal of how it would appear in print. For me photography is the print not the camera.

Describe your photographic style and how it has changed over the years.
I have always approached my commercial and art photography with the idea of condensing an idea into the absolute minimum of parts to bring it to life. My compositions are sparse and clean, light with a colour punch. I love colour and how it can make an image sing.

In terms of how I see or create a composition, my approach is always structured around the observation of colour first rather than the light. As my career has progressed I have become more confident in what I deliver and so my compositions have become purer in their intent and as a result perhaps a little less abstract.

Tell us a little about your upcoming exhibition.
My current body of work is titled ‘Tagged animal’. I am really excited about it. I have photographed wild animals for my whole career with no commercial basis attached. I just love viewing animals in their native environment. Recently on a commercial shoot for an architectural client in Darwin I was told the afternoon shoot was cancelled – within half an hour I was in the bush on a tinnie by myself photographing crocodiles on the Mary river.

I’ve had wildlife photography exhibitions in the past (wild tigers of India and wildlife from Africa) but have never been satisfied that the images have presented my ideas and thoughts on animals, nature and how we as humans interact with the environment. ‘Tagged animal’ takes animals I have encountered and photographed in the wild and changes the context in how they are viewed by adding monitoring tags to their bodies via post production techniques. It is a comment on how humans inevitably control wild places.

I have 3 large prints printed at Image Science from the series ‘Tagged animal’ showing in AT_Salon Season 2 at Anita Traverso Gallery. 29 April – 19 July 2014

Anita Traverso Gallery
7 Albert Street
Richmond VIC
9428 7557
Wed–Sat 11–5 + by appointment

What’s next?
I’m currently sending out proposals to show the full series of ‘Tagged animal’ and continuing to develop the series for exhibition in 2016. I’m also collaborating on an exciting project at my studio that will hopefully get off the ground by late this year using the ‘Tagged animal’ series in a way I had never envisaged.

Christian has a fantastic Instagram and Facebook page that he frequently posts to, so be sure to follow him to keep updated with his work!

Thanks for being our Featured Artist for May Christian!