Revisiting South Australia’s vast salt lake equipped with a bike, tent and camera, Murray Fredericks continues his intrepid pursuit of capturing through photography the overwhelming emptiness and powerful emotional resonance of remote land and sky. Camping alone for weeks at a time, Fredericks’ spiritual and mental encounters are encapsulated in his immersive images which have mesmerised audiences across the globe for more than a decade.
In this exhibition, titled Vanity, Fredericks interrupts his endless and ethereal horizons for which he has become known through the intervention of mirrors. Rather than employing the mirror as a symbol of self-re ection, Fredericks redirects our gaze away from ourselves and into the immense environment. His translations of the landscape verge on otherworldly; mirrors oat gently like windows or portals, offering a dual experience of looking both into another realm and out, as the lake’s glass-like surface re ects an in nite space above.
By removing our re ection from the picture entirely, Fredericks subtly questions the narcissistic qualities of the human condition in the age of the Anthropocene, wherein human activity has become the overriding force on climate and the natural world. He casts our image adrift, so that we might be consumed by the phenomena of light, colour and space on a visceral level, engaging another stratum of consciousness that echoes the artist’s own experience of living in solitude on the lake. In Vanity, Fredericks’ meditations on the immeasurable and unknown void that encompasses us offer a space in which to escape ourselves, and to pause in a moment of pure transcendence.
Murray Fredericks is an internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning photographer and lmmaker. Fredericks has exhibited widely, including Inside the Dome (DYE2) (with Tom Schutzinger), Geelong Gallery, 2015-16; SALT, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, 2016; a major Australian landscape survey exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, 2012; and two solo shows at the Australian Centre for Photography, 2010 and 2015 respectively. His work has been acquired by prestigious public and private collections internationally, including the National Gallery of Victoria; Australian Parliament House; Australian National Portrait Gallery; Artbank; The Sir Elton John Collection; Macquarie Bank; Commonwealth Bank; The Myer Collection; The Valentino Collection; and a number of regional galleries across Australia. Fredericks has been the recipient of numerous awards and is a regular nalist in Australia’s top photography prizes. In 2015, he received the People’s Choice Award for the Bowness Photography Prize, was runner up in the Head-On Festival Landscape Prize and a nalist in the JUWS Photography Award. His first documentary film, Salt, for which he was cinematographer and co-director, won twelve major international awards, played over 50 festivals and was screened on the ABC and PBS in the USA.
Press release courtesy Arc One Gallery.