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Featured Artist: Kirsten Bresciani

25th September 2015 Featured Artists

Kirsten Bresciani has had a love of photography since first picking up a camera back when she was in year five. Since then, she has travelled the world, working for a number of photographers, and creating work for prestigious publications such as Wallpaper magazine and Homes & Gardens. Now settled in Melbourne, Kirsten is working as a commercial photographer whilst working on her own personal project – Florascopic, which she will be exhibiting at Birds Gallery from 3rd October.

Florascopic is a project that Kirsten started while in San Francisco and focuses on the transformation of nature in a modern urban environment. Snippets of urban gardens are twisted and manipulated to give a kaleidoscopic effect – something that Kirsten was always fascinated with as a child. The vibrant images are all printed at a large scale on 24″ Hahnemuhle Photo Rag which creates an incredibly impressive graphical image – we can’t wait to see them all hanging in the gallery!

A New Dawn 3
A New Dawn 3
Grass Wheel
Grass Wheel

Education and background:

Brisbane is where I did my growing up and schooling before studying a bachelor of photography at the Queensland College of Art majoring in Creative Advertising. University was fantastic, however, there is nothing better than learning on the job and in the two years I assisted the photographer Mike Hallson, I learned so much. I experienced shooting food, room sets, North QLD hotels and resorts, aerial photography and became master of the studio’s E6 lab.

My education continued in London where I worked in many capacities within the photographic world. I freelanced as an assisting photographer and worked as a photographers agent for clients such as Wallpaper Magazine, Marks and Spencer’s, Ministry of Sound, Living Etc, New London Review, Homes and Gardens and Conde Nast.

My most significant London experiences were working with the very talented advertising photographer Jonathan Knowles. Jonathan is a master of capturing what the eye is too slow to see such as water bubbling, splashing and squirting and balloons filled with paint exploding. I was also very fortunate to work with the divine Emma Lee whose beautiful interiors and food photography had always been an inspiration to me. From Emma I learned more than just photography, she taught me the importance of self belief.

Where are you based?
I am based in Hawthorn, Melbourne where I live with my husband and two little boys. We moved here after living abroad to start our family in mid 2011. I work from home and a lot of the time shoot on location.

How long have you been a visual artist for?
My love of photography began in year 5 school camp where I picked up my first camera. Although my career has been in the world of commercial photography, throughout this time I have always worked on my own personal projects which in general are in relation to my travels and surrounding environment.

What camera/equipment do you use?

I shoot with the Canon 5DIII at the moment and I think it is great for the work I do. In post production I work on Capture One software and Photoshop. My dream is to one day own either a medium format Hasselblad or a Phase One. I’m rather taken with the A series Phase One.

NYC Blossoms

Describe your photographic style and how it has evolved over the years:
I would say my style as a photographer is relaxed and not overly technical. I love to shoot with natural light and enjoy the problem solving process of manipulating and directing the light to achieve my desired effect.

My images are quite graphic and symmetrically composed, however, at the same time retain a warmth and softness to them through shallow depth of field and layering of textures. Although it did not come easily to me, learning to stray from the rules of photography taught at university and learned in my assisting jobs has been key to the development of my style.

What are your main creative influences?
I guess my main influences are my immediate surrounding and what I find beautiful and natural in the world around me. I will often reflect on the quote by the photographer Lee Friedlander if I find my self striving for a ‘perfect’ shot or over controlling my subject matter.…..

‘I only wanted Uncle Vernon standing by his own car (a Hudson) on a clear day, I got him and the car. I also got a bit of Aunt Mary’s laundry and Beau Jack, the dog, peeing on a fence, and a row of potted tuberous begonias on the porch and seventy-eight trees and a million pebbles on the driveway and more. It’s a generous medium, photography.’

Lee Friedlander 1996.​

This quote helps bring me back to centre.

What do you feel is your biggest achievement to date?
Aside from my two little boys who are ever so special to me, pulling together my first exhibition ‘Florascopic’ is by far my biggest personal and photographic achievement. It began as something small and now I am full to the brim with ideas of how it can grow and in general I’m loving the whole process.

Tell us a little about your upcoming exhibition “Florascopic”

The work in my exhibition is based on images of urban flowers and plants, which are then given, quite literally, a kaleidoscopic twist. The work speaks to the transformation of nature in a modern urban environment and contains influences from my childhood, travels and love for nature. I was fascinated by the kaleidoscope as a child. The colourful, symmetrical and ever changing images contained within were a constant source of wonder and surprise. Much like nature itself the randomness and symmetry of the Kaleidoscope produces images of unexpected beauty.

Florascopic is a project I’ve continued to revisit over the past 8 years since it’s conception in San Francisco were I was inspired by the beautiful gardens of Pacific Heights. Often small, micro gardens of plants and flowers were displayed at the entrances to the grand properties, visually inviting you in but with the rest of the garden hidden from view – like a postcard from an idyllic place that is forever out of reach.

I’ve always been interested in how plants and flowers bring life to the urban environment. I began by collecting snippets of these urban gardens with my camera and in post production to create kaleidoscopic inspired images by the plants and flowers within. There is an element of surprise as to how the image will come out but the more I created the more I was able to predict and shoot for the end result. These images are also a time line of my travels and cover the span from San Francisco, London, New York and Melbourne.

How did you find the process of turning your digital work into a printed format?
The process of printing my files for the exhibition was made very simple with all the detailed information on the image science website. In particular the downloadable templates are a fantastic resource. I feel I have a pretty good basic knowledge about the printing process and pre production but I am totally in awe of the knowledge and set up at image science. Printing with them I feel in safe hands and very happy with the final results.

What’s next?
Beyond this exhibition I feel there are more avenues to explore in Florascopic using different techniques and themes. I would also be keen to take the exhibition to Brisbane. In addition to working on Florascopic and my personal projects, I will continue to work on growing my commercial and editorial photography portfolio here in Melbourne.

website: kirstenbresciani.com.au | instagram: @kjbresciani