Jeannie Pearce

Birding Series 2005-present


             I am collector. It is a combination of passion, compulsion and habit that my long-term involvement with photography encourages. As photographers we collect and stash away thousands of images whether on film or as digital files. Bird watching or “Birding” supports this process of gathering, researching and organizing. Birds have been omni present in myths, fairy tales and symbolism and are icons for present environmental concerns. For me, these portraits represent a dichotomy of emotions and observations: beautiful-ugly, attraction-repulsion, comfort-distress, sweet-nasty, friendly-hostile, and optimistic-pessimistic.

             The Birding series is a collection of digiscope images. A spotting scope or telescope on a tripod is used in place of a telephoto lens. The digital camera is placed next to the telescope eyepiece. The resulting image is captured in a circle with a variety of colored, vignetted and distorted edges. Using a telescope amplifies the power to observe, intensifies the detail, and invites a sort of voyeurism. For me, these images are ironic and humorous.


Landscapes 1996-2005


“Dreams have only the pigmentation of fact.”

Djuna Barnes  1892-1982


           This series of photographs of landscapes are presented as little dreams; the moments of fleeting visual memory that are challenged by ideas, vision, the senses and our tangible surroundings. The images are simply landscapes that may evoke feelings of déjà-vu, nostalgia or suggest a narrative. My interest is in the transformation and transference of emotions that reflect my real and imagined memory.

            Landscape imagery has been a reoccurring theme in my work for many years. The diverse visions, techniques and presentations have adjusted over time, interest, and process availability. These pictures start with a photograph on film that is scanned into a computer and manipulated with digital editing software. The new image that has been altered to reflect my remembrance is printed on to acid free 100% rag paper with a high resolution ink jet printer. Many thanks to Adobe Photoshop and Silicon Gallery Fine Art Printing for helping my memory and imagination combine onto paper. 2000

"The light of memory, or rather the light that memory lends to things, is the palest light of all. . . . I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water."

Eugène Ionesco (b. 1912), Rumanian-born French playwright.

Present Past-Past Present, ch. 5 (1968)

Tools 1996-1998


But lo! men have become the tools of their tools.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.

Walden, "Economy" (1854).


            This body of work is based on the theme of the tool. As a photographer I am dependent on my tools: cameras, lights, darkroom, film and chemicals. Working with a computer to digitally alter my photographs has tied me to another tool that has many frustrating and entertaining powers. I have always been curious about technology and how its influence effects an approach to creating art. I am interested in exploring the ideas of tools, technology and influences in this new work. Glicée prints on the Iris Ink Jet printer allow a freedom in surface selection and image size that enhances and broadens the idea of the photograph.           

            The dictionary states that a tool is a device used to do work or perform a task. A tool is also a person who is used or controlled by others, or is easily deceived or victimized. A tool can be used to instruct, construct and destruct. I’m curious how definitions of words can change the meaning of an object, or how a person’s memory of an object can alter the significance.           

            Photographically, the solitary object has always been a mystery to me because of the evocative nature of the implied definition. What is it? What does it mean? Is it simply decorative? If it is recognizable what does the name of the object signify? How is the object expressed in form and function and how does that presentation influence an understanding? Are there inferred histories and memories?                        

            These tools explore some of those questions using traditional and digital photographic methods. I have been collecting images of tools for the past three years and have altered them on the computer using simple modifications. For the most part, these tools have been a part of my family and their age and beautiful decay, for me, have become a metaphor for mortality. Other tools are used, and often made by artists to create work. My intent is not to drastically change the look or feel of the object, but to intensify and modify the surface definition. I want to keep the integrity of the tool with its history and imperfections. 1997