Murray Fredericks, was born in 1970 in Sydney, Australia, and graduated with a degree in politics and economics from the University of Sydney in 1992. The years that followed saw Fredericks spend long periods, often alone, in the Himalayas and in the deserts of the Middle East. During these solo journeys he became aware of the profound effect that time spent in isolation and in powerful landscapes, can have on the mind and on one’s sense of self. These experiences provided the basis for his approach to making pictures.
For over fifteen years, Fredericks has used the landscape to make representations of his sublime experiences in isolation, in locations that are defined by their space and power. Drawing on minimalist techniques Fredericks’ approach has been to find locations that are devoid of features and ideally bounded by a 360 degree, perfectly flat horizon.
His first major project entitled Salt (2009) was produced in the middle of Lake Eyre, an extensive salt pan in South Australia’s outback. Fredericks camped alone, in the middle of the dry lake for many weeks at a time. ‘Array’ is a continuation of Fredericks’ renowned series ‘Salt’ (2007), and more recently ‘Vanity’ (2017). In ‘ Vanity’, Fredericks introduced a mirror into the previously undisturbed landscape, in Array, Fredericks takes this a step further by introducing multiple mirrors which he painstakingly carries himself. In these works, the artist intersects endless space through the ethereal reflective quality of multiple 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 language of landscape verge on otherworldly; reflections hover together as geometric forms, apertures or portals, offering a dual experience of looking both into another realm and out, as the lake’s glass-like surface mirrors an infinite space above.
“In these images I find my own, flawed, search for a kind of perfection. Perhaps it is a search driven by my own anxieties or vain attempt to escape the human condition. 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 Fredricks
Fredricks has exhibited widely, his work and sits in major public and private collections nationally and internationally, including the National Gallery of Victoria, The Museum of Sydney, Artbank, the Sir Elton John Collection, Macquarie Bank, the Valentino Collection, to name a few. The series Salt inspired a twenty-eight-minute documentary film by the same name with Fredericks was cinematographer and co-director won twelve major international awards; the film played at over fifty festivals.