the story of decadence and decay
Remember those places of beauty and awe that engulfed you and left their indelible mark on your soul?
I do. And this is where they led me, into a journey which has inspired me to think of my camera as a paintbrush, one which allows me to build layers of depth and texture and colour and immerse myself in the urban corners of our world that I love.
My art is the story of those places, it is the story of us, of our world, steeped in beauty and floral abundance, urban hardship and history.
It is the story of decadence and decay. My greatest passion was once to disappear into those places with my camera and now it is to recreate their essence.
As a self confessed wanderer and dreamer I use my studio to build castles in the air.
My artworks are a window of beauty and inspiration to that world, one that will uplift and transport you away from the mundane.
As Picasso said “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
I want to capture grandeur and decadence and a little bit of impossibility.
My work is conceptual and achieved by a process of layers. Beginning within ancient alleyways and neglected buildings I use my camera to capture patinas of texture, decay and structural elements in order to construct a background. This allows me to develop a storyline for the artwork, creating a sense of nostalgia that forms the base for my studio work.
My studio is not about pretty, it's about feeling. I use chunks of flowers like a paintbrush- making sweeping gestures or wilting flows.
The process is not slow and considering. I don't potter. I work in a whirlwind of ideas and emotion, till I get where I want, always visualising my background setting and how the finished piece will fit together.
At times my work has a touch of surrealism and often a theatrical edge as I strive to capture the feeling of imperfection lost in abandonment.
“Paula Petherick crafts masterpieces using fine art photography. Her incredibly detailed pieces are enriched with textures and layers reminiscent of the Dutch Masters style” -BRITISH VOGUE-
Inspired by the Masters and trained by the Military
Drawing upon a history of technical work including a career as a military photographer, I juxtapose the layers of decaying urban background with the floral excess of the studio seeking to invoke a feeling of strength and sensuality often filled with a high sense of baroque drama. The finished works merge complex layers of imagery, adding depth and detail as they integrate multiple viewpoints and lighting elements.
When I was twenty three I backpacked solo into the world and discovered an abundance of beauty.
It was everywhere I looked. Now, as we slide into a world of regulations and moderation with a growing sense of fragility I don't just want to remember beauty, I want to create it.
This is my quiet rebellion, a reminder that we live in a world of beauty, and that beauty is robust and resilient and exists everywhere, from the moss on the footpath to the grandeur of Rome.
Reject the feeling of living life in a blinkered rut of rinse and repeat when there is an array of inspiration on your doorstep. Be caught by the shaft of sunlight as it hits the dust in the air and the wilt of the petal that crumples against the vase.
“Paula Petherick crafts masterpieces using fine art photography. Her incredibly detailed pieces are enriched with textures and layers reminiscent of the Dutch Masters style”