Tim Pelling Biography
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada Tim Pelling has explored the world through the lens of his camera.
Following graduation from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 1985 Tim lived and worked in Vancouver for 10 years, at which time he moved to Asia making the region his base for over 20 years now. Pelling has been broadly published and has worked with and for a wide variety of clients from corporations, design firms, advertising agencies and media producers.
His guiding vision is to keep things simple and succinct, something that he strives for while leading a large crew or working alone in the field. He also relishes resolving challenges to get the right image contending with tricky locations, grim weather, culture differences or a demanding subject matter.
At this point in his career, he has turned his attention to projects that are purely artistic pursuits.
Two series in particular CLEARED and LIQUID BANGKOK showcase this direction. When not on
location Tim divides his time between Toronto and Bangkok.
Tim Pelling CLEARED Statement
The ancient grasslands of North America changed quickly once European settlers arrived.
Centuries of harmony between nature and man was upended by the creation of pastures and farmland.
And thus, the forced transformation has taken us from long rooted grasses and bison to the commerce of grain and cattle.
I grew up on the flatlands of Saskatchewan where this transformation took place a century before my time. I grew up unaware of what had happened. I only saw the beauty of the long, flat prairies and the overwhelming sky.
To me, it remains stunningly beautiful despite the almost total absence now of open grasslands. It is the large space that has had more impact on my life than any other.
And so I decided to go back to my prairie roots, to document it, to meditate in it, to relearn it. And once there, I felt the cold and the heat again. And I saw how the wildlife and the landscape had adapted to the era of cultivation. I saw a beauty unsurpassed.
I spent long hours trying to locate views from my youthful memories, and then capture them in lengthy exposures that gather the last bits of light, evening out those large spaces where light, time and sky all come together.
These images are made to exist in a large scale, to be viewed directly, to immerse the viewer in the expanse. The sky touches a base of earth rich in nutrients, full of life, loaded with its own history and so much a part of my experience.
Tim Pelling LIQUID BANGKOK Statement
Liquid Bangkok sets out to capture the beauty of a neglected world found along the klongs of Bangkok, and in doing so, also highlight the degraded state of this vast network of waterways that flow through and around the city.
The water that passes through Bangkok has mesmerized me since my early days in the city – in part because it is in such contrast to the prairies of my youth. In Bangkok, I often found myself drawn to the klongs’ edges, seduced by the constantly changing light and shapes of the less than pristine tributaries. There is a distinct and unique energy to be found there for those who make the effort to search them out. At the same time, it is a difficult place that continually assaults the senses.
My images in this collection attempt to capture these opposing qualities by weaving the form of the water into the built environment that has grown around them. I don’t work with a preconceived plan. I make it more of a meditative journey.
Liquid Bangkok is the beginning of a wide-ranging water project using large scale landscape images as the vehicle to communicate the message of “how we form water and how it forms us”. My roots are in documentary photography and this is my first exploration using a technical camera, which is a slower method of working. This has changed the way I approach each subject; the slow set up creates more time for reflection, requiring me to fully commit to a given location.
My hope is that I have found an approach that defines these places with a measure of respect, without however, glossing over the serious environmental problems that plague this world of water that is a stunning part of the Bangkok urban landscape.