Pearse describes her work as metaphor for life. Its personal significance, however, is often not apparent to her until well after the work is completed. Themes of reflection, presence and absence, and transience dominate her work both literally in the visual images and metaphorically in terms of major occurrences in her life.
Metaphor is well illustrated in her first major series of work, Cactus (1986-1987), where views of stylized cactus plants, with their spines and thorns and short-lived blooms symbolize a period of mental anguish in Pearse’s life. Likewise, works from her series Earth, Sea and Sky (1988) depict precipitous rocks and cliffs. Wetland Work (2003), painted while her husband was ill with a terminal illness, depicts visually the fragile presence and looming loss of wetland areas while also reflecting her own impending loss. Spaces that come and go show the awareness of presence and absence she experienced at the time of her husband’s death.
Bodies of Work
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