Gerhard Hillmann is an Australian artist who has established a career in the world of fine art photography. He was born in Cairns, Far North Qld, Australia in 1973 and grew up in the small town of Kuranda. His childhood was spent living in the rainforest & and diving on the Great Barrier Reef. This helped teach him to appreciate the natural world and planted a desire within him to be an artist. This curiosity and respect of nature evolved into an awareness of the unlimited creativity we all have within us. An obsession with intricate detail and all creatures great and small is evident in many of his artworks. While, a desire to share this never-ending experience of discovery with others is his motivation to be a nature based artist. His artworks are a bridge into
another world of natural wonder and life.
After many years studying and travelling overseas he finally returned back to the tropics of far north queensland. He lives in Kuranda in the rainforest with his partner Natasha who is a Nurse and their two daughters. Every Sunday Gerhard can be found at the Port Douglas markets where he sells his artworks to people from all around the world in a tropical setting.
Every year he releases a new series of images which are exhibited and are available as limited edition prints.He prefers working on large images and specialises in feature images which bring the outside natural world into peoples living spaces. Mixed Media, Fine Art Photography, Organic Photo Montage & Illustrative Photography. Because he often changes the creative process he uses to create an image it is almost impossible to simplify in words this sometimes complex and varying process. He enjoys the visual balancing act of merging mediums in harmonic images, which challenge peoples perception of art.
In his own words
“My interpretation of the organic world is embedded deep within each artwork. Because I believe we are all part of the landscape & not separate, many of my images explore this human nature connection. I feel compelled to respond to the environment in a creative way & aim to promote a deeper appreciation of nature, which I hope inspires others to be creative. Beyond linguistics, an image has the ability to transcend language barriers and is open to individual interpretation.Through patient observation unique details in nature slowly become visible, this art of seeing inspires me to develop works which describe this experience of discovery. I attempt to capture the essence of a particular subject from the inside out. Depth, colour and a sense of movement are all applied to bring the viewer into the image. By immersing yourself in one of these artworks; subtle, intricate & vibrant details may suddenly appear, making the invisible visible, as the more you look, the more you see.”
“Photography plays a big part in my creative process, however some of the designs start as an ink or pencil sketch. Traditional mediums like painting, drawing and even sculptural work are also used in the process on occasion. When fine art skills are merged with a photographic medium amazing details are brought to life. Regardless of which mediums I choose to work with, one thing is certain and that is my preference of using many layers and colour. This style of layering, blending and merging has taken me years to develop & continues to evolve in a progressive way. I call it organic photo-montage and aim to create still life images which are anything but still. They are intended to be full of movement, life and depth, which portray a hyper realistic view of the world by jumping out at the viewer. This seamless blending of content allows memory & imagination to merge in unique ways. Many ideas are explored and some artworks are abstract enough to allow the viewer to interweave their own stories within them, open to interpretation.In reality digital processing has replaced the traditional darkroom, but I see this as a positive thing. I remember replacing chemicals from the darkrooms with radiation from the computer screen. The computer allows me to combine everything I have collected and created in one seamless composition. Photography and technology continue to evolve, but, I still shoot some of my landscapes with a 6×17 panoramic film camera to get the high quality resolution I am after.
With a background in illustration I recognised the potential of fine art photography as an artform early on.I spent over a decade immersed in traditional photography, art & design studies around the world, Spent a couple of years at the Academy of Art in San Francisco before leaving California to study in Germany. When I returned to Australia I finished my studies in Adelaide & Melbourne. A fine art degree in photography, many exhibitions & numerous awards has all encouraged me to be artist. I have been creating mixed media photographic artworks now for over 25 years and can"t imagine doing anything else.