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Peter Solness’ style of image-making represents a convergence of the technical 'actuality' of photography, with the sensibility of a painter. Respected Australian photographer and writer Robert McFarlane, in his essay for a 2009 catalogue of Peter’s work wrote, 'By making the artistic choice to light each vista, Solness reinvents each scene before him, adding a dream-like nocturnal beauty to every photograph.....  Light doesn’t reflect, so much as emit from each subject - in ways that are similar to Surrealist painters such as Paul Delvaux.... As such they are works of art with two pre-eminent virtues - their natural beauty and this artist’s visible surrender to the peerless mystery of the southern hemisphere night.'

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"Light painting is my personal endeavor to remain engaged and inspired by the act of photographing. Photography has always been my medium, my voice, and the way I make sense of the world around me. I began as a 16 year old, raising my eye to a camera and seeing the world in a different way. It’s just what I do, and in the 43 years since those first exposures were made onto Kodachrome 64 film, photography keeps me engaged. It feeds my internal dialogues and is the way I see myself reflected in the world around me. It contextualizes me and gives me a proximity to ideas I would otherwise not value.

 There have been a lot of changes in photography since those first frames of Kodachrome in 1974 and light painting has been my refuge, my shelter from a storm of imagery, that now descends upon our everyday lives. (Globally more than one trillion photos were taken in 2016 according to The New York Times))

 Light painting takes me away from iPhone selfies, six-frames-a-second coverage, brashness, attitude, flashguns, fashion and bland repetition.

 No two images are the same with light painting. Each exposure is an expression of light and how light can direct the execution of an idea.

 Light painting has been my way of placing a value on things that I feel should be appreciated. Not in a strident way, but in a disarmingly beautiful way. There is an almost devotional aspect to the way one needs to present torchlight to a subject, something that takes my practice into quasi-ritualistic dimensions. It is as much a performance as it is the execution of a photograph and with performance there is also the opportunity for playfulness in the way I develop ideas and undertake the creation of my images.

 So these images are my refuge, where I can find some clarity, beauty and quiet sanity. I hope you enjoy them and that they echo something of the appeal that I’m making within myself as I create them. That to go into a dark place, set up a tripod and to painstakingly illuminate a tree, a rock, an Aboriginal engraving site, or a fellow human being, is an act of gratitude."     

Peter Solness 2017

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Peter’s fine art works have sold extensively and are held in many public and private collections, including the National Library Canberra, State Library of NSW, Museum of Sydney, NSW Parliament collection, Macquarie University Gallery, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre.

In 2010 and again in 2014, Peter was awarded the prestigious NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photographic Prize, for one of his light painted images. Peter has held two large solo exhibitions of the 'Illuminated Landscape' works in major public galleries. 'Nocturnal' a light-box installations at Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney, in 2009-2010 and 'The Light Painter' at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney, in September/October 2012.

As an enthusiastic exponent of light painting, Peter creates public light events for national art festivals such as the 2016 Cairns Festival, 2016 Hill End 'The End' Festival and the 2016 Seechange Art Festival at Jervis Bay. Such events have had as many as 1,000 spectators attending. Peter also develops specialist light painting workshops which are tailored for general photo enthusiasts and camera clubs as well as for more targeted groups, such as primary and high school students and tertiary-level art students at teaching institutions such as the National Arts School, The Australian Centre for Photography and the CATC Design School. Over the past six years Peter has introduced the magic of light painting photography to thousands of inspired students.

All inquiries can be made via the Contacts page: http://www.illuminated-landscape.com/contact/

For more online references about Peter's light painting work go to the following links:

1) Hill End Artist Residency April 2016: 5 minute video interview

2) Field of Orbs: Video of Peter's large-scale public light event in Centennial Park August 2015. FIELD OF ORBS VIDEO

3) Peter's interview with leading international Light Painting website 'Light Painting Photography', October 2015  INTERVIEW

4) To research Peter's extensive 35 year photographic career prior to this current body of work, go to this link for the Design and Art Australia Online database - a government funded initiative that represents biographical data about significant Australian artists: http://www.daao.org.au/bio/peter-solness/#artist_biography