Born in Georgia in 1963, Tierney Gearon began a modelling career when she was spotted by a European-based model agency. At the time, she was studying ballet in the state of Utah; however, soon afterwards, she was modelling and travelling around the globe. Not so surprisingly, it was through her modelling career that she first became interested in the world of photography. In fact, she took photos of her fellow models with a Polaroid camera. After viewing a scrapbook full of these photos, an agent in Paris encouraged her to continue on this career path.
Early Photography Career
Gearon became a fashion photographer and created photographs for magazines and even the Times Square billboards. During her time as a fashion photographer, she also met and married her husband and had two children.
Unfortunately, this marriage did not last and proved to be an emotionally trying time for Gearon – as it is for most other people who have ever been through a divorce.
“I am Camera” Exhibition
Gearon began a personal photography project that also coincidently launched her career as an artist. This highly personal project showcased her own personal life journey at this point in time. Some of these Technicolor images showcased various members of her family – including her children – doing everyday activities that included watching television, going skiing, spending time at the beach, etc. However, despite these seemingly ordinary activities, there was also edginess to the photos as well. The photos amazingly appear to be both distant and personal at the same time.
Reaction to “I am Camera”
In the spring of 2001, Tierney Gearon showed her “I Am a Camera” exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London, England. Here, her work opened to favorable reviews; however, some of her photos also did prove to be controversial and the police did visit the Saatchi Gallery on two different occasions. However, Gearon adamantly and publicly defended her work.
“The Mother Project” Exhibit
In 2006, she released her second major exhibit called “The Mother Project”. A documentary and book about this exhibit called “Daddy, where are you?” was also published later that same year. This documentary was featured at a variety of film festivals including “The Tribeca Film Festival”.
In 2009, she released her next body of work entitled “Explosure”. This exhibit continued her investigation of both family and the home. However, Gearon used double-exposure to portray her message via engaging and surreal images. More specifically, these photos depicted different elements that were taken in different places at different times.
Gearon has also exhibited at a wide variety of prestigious art galleries and throughout the world including the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Phillips de Pury & Company, The Parrish Art Museum, and much more.
Of her work, Gearon has stated: “it’s about hope and bringing two contrasting things together; “My work is like a diary. I do it for my soul.”
*Larisa Redins is the author of this article.