fbpx

Mirror 12, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, Courtesy Hamiltons Gallery, London

Mirror 6, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, Courtesy Hamiltons Gallery, London

Photographer Murray Fredericks has spent weeks alone on Lake Eyre in the Australian Outback. He chose it because of its emptiness. He’s traveled by bicycle over its thick salt crust and waded through puddles of rainwater in search of places so lonely they don’t have names. He’s been photographing this area since 2003.

Salt: Vanity, now on view at Hamiltons Gallery, is Fredericks’s most recent body of work from the sprawling salt lake. After rainfall filled the shallow lake just an inch or so, the photographer hauled pristine, imposing mirrors into the void. He anchored them with sandbags and captured what they saw.

In truth, there are two mirrors in Fredericks’s pictures: the manmade mirror, and the mirror formed by the still water. The latter, of course, is the one that doomed the vain hunter Narcissus of ancient Greek mythology, who fell in love with his own reflection.

Lake Eyre is barren and desolate, and Fredericks, though he introduces a foreign element, give us anything to hold onto. We, unlike Narcissus, never see our own reflections. The artist uproots us from ourselves. The mirror makes the lake infinite, and for this reason, the soft serenity of the images carries a sharp edge of anxiety.

In Fredericks’s uncanny, make-believe version of Lake Eyre, we find ourselves adrift. We are almost unable to differentiate between what’s real and what’s perceived. Like the prisoners in Plato’s cave, we are trapped between two dimensions: the three-dimensional landscape of the lake, and the two-dimensional world reflected in the mirror.

Fredericks leaves us no choice but to forsake our reality and step into his illusion.

Salt: Vanity is on view at Hamiltons Gallery until June 14th, 2017.

Mirror 11, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, Courtesy Hamiltons Gallery, London

Mirror 13, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, Courtesy Hamiltons Gallery, London

Mirror 18, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, Courtesy Hamiltons Gallery, London

Mirror 30, 2017 © Murray Fredericks, Courtesy Hamiltons Gallery, London

Discover More

Give a Print
Receive a Print
Receive a print