New York photographer Peter Sutherland manages to produce images that make the mundane and the ordinary beautiful. Realism is a central feature to his work, reinforced by his use of techniques used in traditional documentary photography. With several publications and films under his belt his new exhibition at Morel Space in London is a chance for the photographer to showcase his previously unseen video work. We caught up with Peter to find out more.
Dazed Digital: How and why did you begin to take photographs?
Peter Sutherland: My brother Andrew gave me a 35 mm camera for my 23rd birthday and explained how to use it. It was a Nikon FE, I liked the way it felt in my hands and I was excited about the challenge of making some interesting images. I was new to NYC then and the camera helped me explore the city.
DD: What influences your work?
Peter Sutherland: Cinema influences my work the most, I just saw the new Terrence Malick movie last night and its been flashing through my mind. I think its also every day living is the biggest influence. There are so many forces in life that pull is in different directions physically, emotionally, creatively, etc.
DD: Are there any other photographers whose work you find inspiring?
Peter Sutherland: William Eggleston is my favorite, otherwise there are too many to list. Photography has opened up way past just being created by photographers, its been cool to see that transformation.
DD: Tell me about the new exhibition at Morel Space in London.
Peter Sutherland: The show is all video work. All of it was made while traveling and was not really controlled or premeditated. Andrew and I do trips together and just get into it. Its cool to have a brother that is close in age, we are our oldest friends. Working together or having him close when we work sets the vibe of the work.
DD: Your work is known for utilising techniques of traditional documentary photography-is that a conscious decision you made from the beginning or something that has just developed over the years?
Peter Sutherland: I like documentary films and photography because they often offer access to special people or places. I think some of the most beautiful/ poetic moments happen by themselves.
DD: What is the perfect image to you?
Peter Sutherland: It's a difficult question. The first one i thought of is this one by Paul Graham. This image creates an unexplainable feeling...
DD: What other up and coming projects are you currently working on?
Peter Sutherland: I'm slowly working on a documentary about Richard Prince and trying to make more non - flat art works.
Peter & Andrew Sutherland's 'Every Week is Nepal Week' at Aron Morel Space, 21 Kingly Street, London W1F 9, 7th-15th June 2011