Structured and Framed
Lindsey Pearson’s sculptural series, Elevate, plays with experience and repetition
By Megan Kelley
There are many ups and downs in an artist’s career, but rarely are they literal: for young artmaker Lindsey Pearson, her latest series, Elevate, takes inspiration from elevator rides. As a body of work in a long line of prolific production, Elevate is just another stop on Pearson’s rising art career.
Lindsey Pearson began making work at an early age, focusing on paint as a primary expression of landscapes and family members. Since her start, however, Lindsey’s work spans across a wide range of techniques and explorations, and every new series is substantially different. As an artist, Lindsey’s practice thrives on incorporating and investigating new avenues. “There are always difficulties when taking on a new style,” she admits, “but with continual use comes familiarity. […] Repetition delivers understanding.”
Ritual plays a large part in Pearson’s process, and her preferences towards brushes and pencils border on the passionate when it comes to choosing her tools. “I know what works and I tend to not be very flexible when it comes to what I work with.” This same passion, however, opens up her reasons for making as a whole: “My motivation comes from a need to explore new ideas [and] styles.” This drive and ambition, focused through her open fascination with the larger connections within the physical work and world around her, and followed by her intensive studio process, lead her to a substantial body of work.
As a practice of artmaking, Pearson’s attention hones the deconstructive analysis exploring the different results obtained. This process carries through a body of work as Pearson performs the same process multiple times, using the same elements within a series to challenge the medium until it has met her rigorous standards of satisfaction. It’s a scientific approach, but her works read as intuitive rather than mechanical: extensions of the overall theme rather than as studies or stand-alone objects.
Elevate exists as a sculptural foray into the structure and experience of riding in an elevator. A response to both the physical and socially-charged atmosphere of elevators as an environment, Pearson hoped to present an abstract representation of the structure, experience, and location of elevators. With subtle references to pressed buttons, skylines, and customs, Elevate makes use of the natural forms of the wood as well as the negative and positive ground created by paint. Gouges, grains, and angles become aspects of the work to be polished, emphasized, or softened in order to recreate the specific tactile and memory experiences in each piece.
Pearson’s multifaceted approach to influence and medium wasn’t always so open: “I was quite stubborn my first semester [and] had every intention of only being a still life photographer, but college opened me up to so many different mediums.” Her experiences as a student at Belmont University gave her the challenge and opportunity to experiment and explore, laying the foundations for her current direction. “I recommend that artists dabble in all types of materials and techniques. It will only make them more aware of new ways of construction.”
One of the other important directions that college provided was a solid career start. “The connections you make will lead to opportunities in your professional career. […] It’s very important to make strong connections.” In her own practice, Pearson invests time looking into galleries located in cities where she would like to show, often visiting the gallery in person to forge a relationship as well as view the physical space. Persistence is key: “Not everyone will like your work and you will get rejected more than accepted, but remain focused and never stop creating.” Ultimately, Pearson says: “Never stop doing what you love.”
In growing her own body of work and sending it out into the world, it’s advice that has paid off well for the young artist. Pearson’s signature show for the year will be a gallery showing in Sydney, Australia, showing two-dimensional mixed medium paintings works — a single female explored through grey paint, graphite, and diluted reds — from a previous series, Still Frames. In addition, Pearson is showing in Chicago at the close of the year, as well as beginning a collaborative project with a friend. It’s a busy schedule but one fitting this prolific maker. As for what’s next? “I would love to do a short film in the near future.”
If you can’t travel to Sydney, you can follow more of Lindsey Pearson’s works at www.lindseypearson.com.