© Tierney Gearon
Archival Pigment Print
“When you meet me, there is always craziness. Before, I created chaos in my life, even on fashion shoots. Here, in the current images, I am taking these calm situations and creating chaos inside the camera.”
Tierney Gearon is a madly creative woman, a seeker and a self-taught artist. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, the oldest sibling of two brothers, and a nurturer of the entire family, including her father and mentally ill mother. Tierney studied ballet seriously, but when she left home to pursue her dance career in college, her parents divorced. Tierney had glued them all together. And, in a sense, she had trained as a mother before anything else. She quit ballet after starring in a hair campaign. Attracted by worldly adventure, she ended up modeling, traveling to Paris, Milan, and Japan, places where she also experimented with a Polaroid, shooting some of her model mates.
Living in London, Tierney met Phil Bicker, the Creative Director of the Fader who showed her images -- scenes of families and people -- shot by Tina Barney that served as inspirations for Tierney to try out different photography formats.
Tierney Gearon’s latest works, entitled 'The Egypt Series', are created by exposing the film multiple times, in the camera to achieve the technique in overlaying the images. She shoots once, saves the roll of film, and shoots a second image on top before developing the film. In 'The Egypt Series'. Gearon meshes two cultures into one in an unexpected and provocative way; shot first in California and re-exposed in Egypt, she explores contrasting expressions of femininity with intimate and intriguing outcomes. The works come about through a game of chance yet each pairing seems to have an eerie relationship and somehow her subjects manage to speak to each other across time and space.
Around that time, she also met Charles Saatchi, who was so taken with Tierney’s shots of her children, he asked her to be the leading artist in his: “I Am A Camera” group photo exhibit of 2001. Since her controversial debut, Gearon has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary photography. “The Mother Project” and “Daddy, Where are you” gave an intimate view into Tierney’s relationship with her mentally ill mother, capturing the raw intensity and celebrating her free spirit. Most recently Gearon has been double exposing film inside of the camera to produce groundbreaking narratives, firstly in the 2009 series Explosure, and continued in 2011 with The Egypt Series.