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UNFOLDING | Michael Pearce
Michael Pearce returns to fortyfivedownstairs in May 2019 with a new series of drawings.
Image: Michael Pearce
The UNFOLDING series introduces elements of dimension, light and shadow into Pearce’s pastel drawings through precise folding and embossing of parts of the paper. Spontaneous fluid pastel lines and markings contrast and balance against the hard straight lines of the folded paper. The works reflect an artistic and personal endeavour to reconcile and balance the conflict between spontaneity and rigidity, freedom and discipline.
Influenced by Pearce’s theatre and dance design practice, light from above casts shadows and creates an ambiguity between which is drawn or folded. The paper folding idea began whilst making the sculptural set model for his design for choreographer Stephen Baynes’ Constant Variants for The Australian Ballet (Melbourne 2018, Sydney 2019).
From Pearce’s earlier drawings of pure pastel markings and lines, this series includes the body, and botanical, almost organic shapes (the latter influenced by a trip to Japan). The figures are controlled and influenced by the folded paper forms or fighting against them. The works are united by a sense of fluid movement.
Michael Pearce is a Melbourne based theatre set and costume designer, visual artist and occasional performer, designing for dance, drama and opera companies in Australia and New Zealand, Europe and Asia.