The process of making these works was one of continual change. Under each painting are multitudes of paintings that didn’t cut the mustard, but which contribute to the final image in some small way. Rather than beginning with an image or an idea for an image, I often begin by making aimless marks, drawing lines that delineate spaces and making decisions from there in a purely intuitive capacity. Almost as though I take the role of an observer and I welcome and consider whatever steps upon the stage. Somewhere within the sliding scale of abstraction and representation, images surface and disappear and surface again. I see these kinds of work as ways to experience the enigmatic phenomena of mental experience, to access the unconscious.
My attraction to this approach is related to an interest in Zen Buddhism, Tao and the I Ching and other philosophical or spiritual systems organised on the basis of surrendering control. Within that there is the notion of improvisation as a way to transcend intention, to welcome chance interferences so that as the work is a kind of discovery.
The resulting works I hope are experiences not unlike dreams – quite apart from the logic of everyday, and not to be decoded like symbols to unlock a specific meaning but to be apprehended, felt and considered.
Nell Pearson was born in Brisbane, the third of five children, to a psychiatrist father and an artist mother. She grew up on a farm in Newrybar, just inland from Byron Bay. Nell has travelled, studied fine arts at Julian Ashton School of Art, some of a Bachelor of Arts at La Trobe and went to RMIT for a second before she finally began studying Painting at the VCA where she is now.