“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” – Maya Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Like all good story tellers, Dasha Pears transports the viewer into a surreal world of escapism, adventure and visual poetry. Often referred to as ‘psycho-realism’, Pears’ figures inhabit rich landscapes, seascapes and the dense urban jungle to explore human nature and psychological states, identity and our emotive experience of the world. Blurring the real and the imagined, Pears’ scenes encourage the viewer to delve into a playful and poignant journey. She conjures scenes reminiscent of childhood, or the wander lust of global travel and reframes the familiarity of the everyday in moments of pause and reflection. Pear’s work relishes in the sheer joy of being alive, embracing the senses and letting this play out in images of awe and wonder. Frequently focusing on a female protagonist, these figures investigate notions of identity and femininity, poised and commanding the space.
With a keen eye for the balance of colour and form, Pears’ compositions are confident and meticulously planned, with high levels of production required to capture the scene. There are no computer-generated images in her work, just complex digitally manipulated elements of her existing photographs. Her use of colour serves to highlight the dynamism, energy and often the emotional intensity of the moment. She plays with the geometry of the space and environment, framing her characters in experimental compositions that invite the viewer to engage both visually and metaphysically with the world she creates.
Dasha Pears lives and works in Helsinki, Finland and has been focused on her photography since 2010. She has exhibited across Europe, the USA and internationally including Russia, Mexico, Israel and the UK. Pears received the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Award in 2019, and received an honorable mention in The Prix de la Photographie award in Paris; a gold medal from the Photographic Society of America. Her works have been placed in over 100 private collections worldwide, and in the collections of Harvard Art Museum and the Obama Foundation.