Margaret River artist Pierre Requillart is fascinated by light, which he masterfully captures in his beautifully simplistic photography.
As I sit in Pierre Requillart’s Margaret River art studio, sunlight streams through its north-facing windows, lighting the space and casting shadows on its concrete floor.
“The more you can know about light, the better your photography is going to be,” Requillart, who has recently exchanged paint brushes for lenses, says. “It doesn’t matter if it’s indoors, outdoors, whatever. Light is everything. In a studio environment you’re really in control of it all, so you can really see the subtle differences.”
Over the past three months, Requillart has been experimenting; taking photos of people and landscapes while playing with light, shadow and body lines. Influenced by cinematic photography expert Peter Lindbergh, he’s more recently turned his focus monochrome portraits.
“The photographers I admire the most, they’re all monochrome photographers,” Requillart says. “To be honest, I find it’s easier to work in monochrome. Colour can be distracting; with monochrome, you focus more on the subject. With portraits it’s amazing – if people are wearing bright colours, that’s all gone and it’s about them.”
You can check out some of Requillart’s photography (along with his paintings, which have a Jackson Pollock air about them) at his studio during this year’s Margaret River Region Open Studios.
“I only started making art again two years ago, so I feel like there is 20-plus years bottled up of things that need to be expressed through painting and photos,” the artist says. “What got me thinking about art again? My daughter. She draws all day. And I just thought, ‘I should do that too’.”
He then signed up for Open Studios, and with a looming deadline, he started painting.
“I was taking some photos to get ideas for paintings, and then eventually I just started doing more and more photos,” he says, of his foray into photography. “And at this year’s Open Studios, it’s pretty much going to be all photos, really.”
That doesn’t mean Requillart’s completely ruled out painting, though.
“I like to throw paint a lot. It’s fun, because my paintings are like the opposite of my photos. With photos, you’ve got to think it out, and it’s very nerdy and mathematical.”
With painting, it’s a lot less ‘methodical’ and a lot more fluid.
“It’s a nice balance,” Requillart says, “and I definitely want to keep doing both.”
You can visit Requillart at his Margaret River Studio from April 27-May 12, 2019.
Visit – Pierre Requillart
Visit – Margaret River Region Open Studios