Fine art photography of Bald Head Island, in a book

Dec. 20, 2012 @ 03:45 PM

Marjorie Brown Pierson grew up in southern Louisiana and has photographed her beloved marshes, which represent a significant amount of her visual artwork. But so, too, does her fine art photography of Bald Head Island, the North Carolina barrier island she first visited four years ago. Now a collection of her Bald Head images has been printed as a coffee table book called “Struck By Nature: Photographs of Bald Head Island.”
Published this month, the 52 pages of conservancy-minded photos is for sale at Pierson’s studio at Golden Belt Arts in downtown Durham as well as the Umstead Hotel and Spa gift shop in Cary, the Bald Head Island Conservancy and the All About Art Gallery on Bald Head Island ($85, limited first printing of 150 copies).
Pierson said she was showing her work in Bald Head, where it received tremendous enthusiasm, and she did not know of another book about the island with an eye on conservation.
“Struck By Nature” also includes images from her most recent trip to Bald Head this past fall. Pierson likes photographing the same locations in different light and different seasons. Many of her photographs are taken from boats or piers, often at dawn or dusk.
Pierson decided to focus on a barrier island because so many wetlands have been lost in southern Louisiana, she said. “Bald Head is thriving,” Pierson said, and strength and beauty is everywhere. “As an artist I’m drawn to the warm light, rich color and lush texture of Bald Head.”
Many of the photographs in “Struck By Nature” are more impressionistic and abstract than her previous work, she said. The more she goes to the island, the more she loves it.
“The more comfortable with and the more you love a subject, the more you want to play with it,” she said.
Pierson’s next exhibit will be a spring show on Bald Head Island. Her next photography book will likely focus on Louisiana.
Pierson said there’s an innate love for barrier islands in North Carolina, and she thinks her work presents that in a unique way, from an artist’s personal perspective.
“I see people long for that loving treatment for North Carolina,” she said.