Shortlisted for the Arles Author Book Award 2017
Push the Sky Away is Piotr Zbierski’s first major publication. Presented as a triptych, it is comprised of series which closely interrelate so that in each what has gone before leads on to the next, creating a sense of continuity and structure. Zbierski’s aim is to draw out what he sees as an underlying structure to human existence – something unchanged and unchanging. He believes that this lies within the emotions, and in our traditions of behaviour and ritual – elements shared across all cultures.
Zbierski explores the expression of emotions and questions to what extent they can alter reality. In this, he is particularly fascinated by chance encounters. He takes the role of an impartial observer – fleeting encounters with strangers – without prior knowledge of his subjects – enable him to see what is pure and essential: people and their entire world of emotions.
In the words of Zbierski, ‘I chose photography because it lets me get very close to people. It is the only medium with a directness that lets me show the existence of the imagination in the real world.’ In his images, he concentrates on faces, gestures, the expression of feelings and relationships. His aim is not primarily to seek originality but rather authenticity. They depict scenes from the heart of life itself, captured at a wide variety of locations with the majority shot on travels through Eastern Europe and India.
A photographer and traveller, Piotr Zbierski originally studied at the Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz. He was awarded the prestigious LEICA Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award in 2012 and chosen to be part of Regeneration3 at the Musée de l’Elysée in 2015. His work is now beginning to be widely exhibited internationally and he is viewed as one of the most interesting of a new generation of image makers working within photography.