Catherine Nelson is a Sydney-based artist who considers herself a painter with a camera. In doing so, using photography and her photographs as the primary medium in the creation of these incredible miniature worlds. Nelson flees from traditional techniques of art making and leaps towards a novel fusion of art and photography. Her series on miniature worlds is constructed with numerous digitally manipulated and subsequently assembled photographs, literally stitching together, piece by piece, hundreds of photographs.
Catherine Nelson has acquired a significant background in the world of visual special effects from her rich experience in the area, having worked on films such as Harry Potter, 300 and Moulin Rouge. Each piece of work is an exquisite work of art with unique beauty and incredible attention detail, measuring about 40” x 40”. The amount of time and effort the artist must have invested should come as no surprise, but must be commended. This level of detail and finesse requires Catherine Nelson to have spent a great deal of time travelling through the creative process, from the time of capturing photos to the final stages of digital assembly. It may seem at first as though Catherine Nelson has somewhat rendered her work in special 3D effects, but this is not the case. Catherine Nelson uses digital editing to individually assemble the photographs, and the worlds are almost entirely based on photography. Extraordinary.
In the words of Catherine Nelson herself, on her miniature worlds and photography as a medium for her art, “When I embraced the medium of photography, I felt that taking a picture that represented only what was within the frame of the lens wasn’t expressing my personal and inner experience of the world around me. With the eye and training of a painter and with years of experience behind me in film visual effects, I began to take my photos to another level. The ‘Future Memories’ series comprises of 20 floating worlds, meticulously composed with thousands of assembled details. Visual poetry, nature photography and digital techniques blend together to give shape to these transcendental landscapes. The result is a contemporary pictorial mythology that subtly reminds the viewer of a profound truth: that it is in the flourishing variety of the local that the fate of the world resides.”