“Standing in the silken water, surrounded only by a boundless horizon, I sense a release, a surrendering as the self dissolves into the light and space.” - Murray Fredericks
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-reflection, Fredericks redirects our gaze away from ourselves and into the immense environment. His translations of the landscape verge on otherworldly; mirrors float gently like windows or portals, offering a dual experience of looking both into another realm and out, as the lake’s glass-like surface reflects an infinite space above.
By removing our reflection 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.