22nd July, 2020.
Adam Gibson is an established Australian photographer with an impressive body of work to his name. Like many creatives, he skirts the chasm between the commercial and fine art elements of his discipline while maintaining a strong connection between the two. The conduit, which has become a constant across his work, is a reference to the natural landscape of his native Tasmania.
Choosing between passion projects and commissioned work is a difficult tug of war for every creative the world over. The abyss between the two is large, and navigating it is often reliant upon strong entrepreneurial skills, a sound yet evolving strategy, and a deep understanding of the overall intent imposed on creative work. None of these things tend to come overly naturally to the right-brain dominant among us but the conversation is becoming increasingly amplified as more and more artists, designers and makers strive for a balance between the two which exist in a fragile symbiotic state.
“Increasingly the two become intertwined,” Adam has noticed. “For me, the people I shoot for commercially are equally interested in my personal work.” This is likely down to a strong distinguishing aesthetic that subtly runs through all of Adam’s images. A constant grittiness that resonates as only the beauty of imperfection can, instilled by an obvious fascination and profound respect for the organic state of things. Landscape has informed personal projects like last years exhibition at Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery titled ‘Everything and Nothing‘ as well as appearing on the periphery of much of Adam’s architectural commissions. Captured through his lens, design-focused built environments are consistently anchored by their sense of place within natural landscapes alongside strong natural materiality.
Ultimately, Adam’s consistent returning to the thing that most inspires him has poetically begun to be seen as his distinction. The very reason he is approached for commercial projects. So much so that he rarely receives a brief these days. His clients have come to expect the quality unique to Adam’s work to filter into the images he captures for them in a commercial capacity. His commissioned engagement’s have become a direct response to his fine artwork.
“I think this comes down to how you present yourself. I’m always immersed in the landscape. It all comes back to the landscape for me. Whether this is physical, or a metaphor for the mental, it all feeds back into my commercial work so I get involved naturally with architects whose work resonates with the same natural landscape. There is a duality in that we all work with the same materials and sense of place.”
In the end, the creative process is rarely driven by impulse alone. A healthy awareness of the status quo alongside an opportunistic ability to recognise the value of creative work is equally as important as devotion to your craft. “Show the world what you see and don’t compromise” is Adam’s advice. “If you want to put up a super minimal landscape with no information in the image but a great feeling that’s up to you as an artist.”
“It’s all a process. Nothing is ever finished…”
Words | Tiffany Jade
Images | Adam Gibson