Peter Solness is a multi-award winning photographer, artist, educator and writer who specialises in the photographic method of Light Painting. This involves mounting his camera on a tripod and working in darkness to allow long camera exposures of between 4 to 60 seconds. These long exposure times mean he can hand-illuminate his chosen subjects using small torches to create visual effects not generally associated with traditional methods of photography.

An enthusiastic teacher and exponent of light painting as an art form, Solness runs regular workshops and presentations at The National Arts School, TAFE colleges, and the Head On and Ballarat International Foto Biennale photography festivals. He also mounts large-scale public light events for community celebrations, such as Sydney Science Week in 2015 and 2018. Solness has also developed specialist light painting workshops for secondary and primary school students as a way to inspire younger audiences.

“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. Each exposure is an expression of light and how light can direct the execution of an idea. 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 for me an act of dedication to this art form.” – Peter Solness 2019

“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. Each exposure is an expression of light and how light can direct the execution of an idea. 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 for me an act of dedication to this art form.” – Peter Solness 2019
“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. Each exposure is an expression of light and how light can direct the execution of an idea. 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 for me an act of dedication to this art form.” – Peter Solness 2019

Peter Solness is a multi-award winning photographer, artist, educator and writer who specialises in the photographic method of Light Painting. This involves mounting his camera on a tripod and working in darkness to allow long camera exposures of between 4 to 60 seconds. These long exposure times mean he can hand-illuminate his chosen subjects using small torches to create visual effects not generally associated with traditional methods of photography.

An enthusiastic teacher and exponent of light painting as an art form, Solness runs regular workshops and presentations at The National Arts School, TAFE colleges, and the Head On and Ballarat International Foto Biennale photography festivals. He also mounts large-scale public light events for community celebrations, such as Sydney Science Week in 2015 and 2018. Solness has also developed specialist light painting workshops for secondary and primary school students as a way to inspire younger audiences.

“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. Each exposure is an expression of light and how light can direct the execution of an idea. 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 for me an act of dedication to this art form.” – Peter Solness 2019
The Australian artist Peter Solness has been experimenting with light painting for more than two decades. His rich and varied body of photographic series harnesses the qualities of light painting, not simply as a visual effect, but as a way to reach more deeply to the heart of his subjects: to seduce the eye, focus attention and encourage contemplation. Over the years, his practice has been defined not by a singular style, but by a continuing sense of adventure as he explores innovative ways to extend and apply his light-painting skills. His approach to the role of artist has also evolved. In recent years, his practice has increasingly involved collaboration, with projects devised to encourage others to explore and celebrate their own creativity.
Dr. Alasdair Foster 2019, Professor of Culture in Community Wellbeing, University of Queensland

Selected Awards

2019 Finalist, Dobell Drawing Prize, National Art School, Sydney

2019 Finalist, Head On Portrait Prize, UNSW Art & Design, Paddington

2019 Finalist, Australian Conceptual Photography Prize, Australian Photographic Society

2018 Finalist, Percival Photographic Portrait Prize, Pinnacles Gallery QLD

2017 Exhibitor, 17th China Pingyao International Photography Festival

2016 Finalist, NSW Parliamentary Landscape Photography Prize

2015 Winner, Illumination Public Art Project, Gallery Lane Cove

2014 Winner, NSW Parliamentary Landscape Photography Prize

2012 Exhibitor, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Netherlands

2011 Highly Commended, NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photo Prize.

2010 Winner, NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photo Prize

2009 Finalist, Olive Cotton Award, Tweed Regional Gallery NSW

2007 Finalist, Josephine Ulrick Award, The Arts Centre Gold Coast

2007 Finalist, Eureka Science Photo Award, Australian Museum, Sydney

Public Collections

NSW Parliament Collection

Pat Corrigan Collection

Museum of Sydney

NSW State Library

National Library, Canberra

Macquarie University Gallery NSW

Art Gallery of Ballarat VIC

Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre NSW

Port Noarlunga Arts Centre SA

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Solo Exhibitions

2019 Lamplight, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

2017 Luminous, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Sydney

2017 Tableau a deux. Head On Photo Festival.

2012 The Light Painter, Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney

2009 Nocturnal, Customs House Circular Quay, Sydney.

Media

2019 ‘Ghost Town’ photo essay, Outback Magazine April 2019  VIEW HERE

2017 Foster A. ‘The World’s of a Light Painter’ Photoworld Magazine, China

2015 Taffel J. ‘How 100 people swinging lights in Centennial Park after dark will be a work of art’ Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday Spectrum  VIEW HERE

2012 Keely R. – ‘Light Up the Night’ Australian Photography Magazine

2012  ‘Brilliance in the Dark’ photo essay, Sawasdee Magazine (Thai Airways)

2012  Somerville J. ‘Peter Solness: Illuminated Landscapes ’Aust.Art Review

2010  Falconer D. ‘Sydney’ University of NSW Press

2009  McFarlane R. ‘Nocturnal’ Catalogue essay for Nocturnal. Customs House