Born and raised in Sydney in the 1970’s, Murray Fredericks studied politics and economics at Sydney University. Once finishing his undergraduate degree, he spent five years traveling in the Middle East and the Himalayas. The experience of spending large amounts of time in what he believes to be ‘powerful’ locations provided the basis for his approach to his photography. Essentially self-taught, Fredericks undertook and completed a Masters of Art and then his MFA at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. Fredericks’s has described his work as “derived from a perspective that views culture as something that cannot be wholly accounted for through social construct. It’s a view that sees some values as derived from a ‘time-less essence’. His work attempts to represent the experience when thought is temporarily suspended and the mind encounters the ‘other’.” From the start of his career Fredericks process has involved prolonged solo journeys to remote and often extreme locations. Adventure and endurance have never been an intentional part of his work and he doesn’t believe any of his trips to have been particularly spiritual. That said his chosen locations are often difficult to access and require large amounts time spent in them to move the compositions past the ‘surface exotic’.
SALT - Between the years of 2003 and 2010, Murray Fredericks made sixteen solo journeys to Lake Eyre in South Australia, a dry salt plane in the Australian Outback. Immersed in what he has described as ‘pure space’, Fredericks camped alone in the centre of the lake photographing a ‘landscape without landscape’ for up to five weeks at a time. The solitude, simplicity and repetition of the days, created an approach that was integral to the production of the images. I was talking to a friend of mine that was lucky enough to have a few conversations with Fredericks as well as sit in on one of his presentations. Fredericks was saying that he would ration himself to one page of the book he was reading per day. This was because he said he was so incredible bored and isolated out there by himself waiting for ages for the perfect shot. I feel that isolation is a huge part of this work. Shown in this image in particular by the contrast of the beautiful yet barren landscape and his single man tent and bicycle. Fredericks used a bulky Japanese Toyo view camera loaded with large sheets of colour print film, this was ideal for capturing a wide range of hues, from the deep blue night skies to the more muted colours of the desert. The photographs were produced on a traditional 8 x 10 film plate camera and exhibited as large digital pigment prints on cotton rag. By shooting medium format Fredericks would have slowed himself down. In the sense that he’d be taking time to carefully compose the perfect image every time so as not to waste film. He could have easily shot digitally but I suppose he chose film intentionally for this very reason. I think it’s also interesting to point out that he rode there by himself with all of his gear and his incredibly heavy camera so these photographs also act as evidence for the struggle and endurance experienced by Fredericks on his trips. Having had to carry all the gear himself, he would have been restricted in how much film he could take; influencing how particular and precious he would be with each photo. Additionally, by shooting on such a large format, Fredericks was able to capture an immense amount of detail in the sublime landscape. Out of all the images in his series this one in particular caught my eye. The lower third is a blushing and beautiful red with lightning-like, rippling patterns thrown across its surface. This is in complete contrast to the silky, cloudy grey sky above it. Fredericks choice to use a long exposure has blurred the sky into a fluid, smooth, blanket that draws closer attention to the vibrant and detailed patterns of the ground. Of course, then there’s the tent and the bike, which seem fragile and small in the grand scheme of such a place, isolated within the landscape. By concentrating exclusively on space and colour Fredericks photographs reduce the landscape to its most basic level, allowing the light, colour and form to be the primary focus. However, it is the inclusion of the bike and tent that prevent the photograph from becoming an abstract, purely sublime image, and rather suggest the audience’s place within the landscape.
I was lucky enough to work for this legend for the duration of the Sydney 2012 Biennale <3
Check out her work here! Its amazing!
Anne Ferran taught Marcia Lockhart. Marcia Lockhart taught me. Now Anne Ferran’s teaching me. Thats pretty rad.
For over twenty-five years, the Sydney-based artist Julie Rrap has sought to disclose and unravel the ways in which the human body has been defined throughout western history and culture. She does so with a seductive wit, an outward display of pleasure, and a determination to match the gaze of her audiences. Deeply based in the story of the body, Rrap’s art is always a surprise, resulting from an individual ingenuity that aligns with a feminist strategy to continuously seek and present the unpredictable and unanticipated. This exhibition surveys Rrap’s work over three decades and focuses on three key themes in her work: the trickster, the body double and the ways in which her work represents the body as a fragmented entity. Often playing the role of thief, vixen or mischievous impostor, Rrap has worked as a kind of ‘trickster’, literally ‘occupying’ the work of some of western art’s most famous paintings or pop-cultural images. During the 1980s, artists such as Edvard Munch provided vehicles for Rrap’s exploration of the ways in which the female nude had been represented through the history of art, as in her 1984 series Persona and Shadow. ‘The historical paintings’, she explains, ‘were really stepping-off points for me to do a performance’. By mobilising these well-known images, Rrap unravels the condition of woman as ‘other’ and this strategy has persisted in her work through to the A-R-MOUR series (2000). Throughout the 1990s until the present day, Rrap has used her own body in various postures through shadow play, masquerade, mirror and mime. She performs as a ‘body double’ for the still and moving camera. Drawing on the notion that gender is in itself a performance, Rrap has forged the theme of the stand-in, a prosthetic body double, and her works often invite viewers to imagine themselves in such a role. This is evident in sculptural installations such as Vital Statistics (1997) and Hard Core/Soft Core (2006) through to the most recent work in this exhibition, Body Double (2007). Increasingly, Rrap represents a body in pieces, inevitably raising ethical and aesthetic issues inrelation to how we depict, interpret and understand the human form. Such issues have been discussed both in broad social terms (for example in relation to the Abu Ghraib photographs or in connection with genetic engineering), as well as in the field of art. For Rrap, the body and its representation is porous, excessive and oozing with a sense of tease and trickery. In works such as Hairline Crack (1992), Porous Bodies (1999) and Overstepping (2001), this body oversteps the margins of comfort, taking us into the zone of transgression. It is, however, always in the company of a foil that more often than not, allows us to laugh out loud with the artist.
Cherine Fahd has exhibited both nationally and internationally for the last 10 years. Her artworks offer observations on our everyday world, “our daily rituals, the way we exist in cities, the way we observe nature and each other.” What sets her works apart is the way prosaic moments are transformed into elegant meditations.
Fahd’s most recent series of photographs Trafalgar Square, shown at Stills Gallery in 2007, continues her fascination with capturing moments of human expression, when photographs of nameless individuals within urban settings seem to transcend the depiction of time, place and self. Although they are in the public space of London’s National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and dwarfed by the grand architecture, Fahd’s subjects seem physical and emotional in ways that are usually saved for more private moments.
In her series Looking Glass (2004/05) small gestures and moments are isolated and highlighted through selection and digital manipulation. Fahd draws our attention to a moment that has captivated her. These are the unguarded moments of strangers, of couples lying in a park, a girl standing at a lookout, in which humanity is clearly visible. In a way, the works are also meditations on the act of photography, of capturing single meaningful moments, of catching time.
Her earlier body of work, The Chosen, pictured individuals captured in golden light, in front of a sandstone wall, dripping with water, in a sort of rapture. These are the chosen. At first glance, it seems as though these people have been offered something secret and special. Yet Fahd’s people are part of a crowd, cooling off on a hot Parisian day. They are transported in the simplest of ways, being engrossed in a space and time, lost in themselves yet Fahd suggests a deeper transformation is occuring, through her selections, framing and repetition.
In A Woman Runs and Idea of the Sphere Fahd has worked with constructed images, setting up scenes to photograph them. Sometimes these have been mythical and mysterious such as the women running through a forest towards the camera. Sometimes they have been full of delicate whimsy such as in works like Eclipse of Another, where black and white balloons vie for attention against a bright blue sky.
Cynthia “Cindy” Morris Sherman (born January 19, 1954) is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. In 1995, she was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Through a number of different series of works, Sherman has sought to raise challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society, the media and the nature of the creation of art. Her photographs include some of the most expensive photographs ever sold.
The series Untitled Film Stills, 1977–1980, with which Cindy Sherman achieved international recognition, consists of 69 black-and-white photographs. The artist poses in different roles and settings (streets, yards, pools, beaches, and interiors), producing a result reminiscent of stills typical of Italian neorealism or American film noir of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. She avoided putting titles on the images to preserve their ambiguity. Modest in scale compared to Sherman’s later cibachrome photographs, they are all 8 1/2 by 11 inches, each displayed in identical, simple black frames. Sherman used her own possessions as props, or sometimes borrowed, as in Untitled Film Still #11 in which the doggy pillow belongs to a friend. The shots were also largely taken in her own apartment.