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Have you heard of the desert lake in Australia with extremely high concentration of salt? Well, it is the Lake Eyre and Murray Fredericks, an Australian Photographer has made at least twenty journeys since 2003 to the centre of this lake.
This lake is the lowest natural point in Australia and is at approximately 15m below the sea level.When the lake fills up (which is rare) the salinity is the same as sea water, but when the water evaporates and the water level falls, its salinity increases.
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Murray captures some extremely dramatic images of the sky reflected in this salt-scape, and his recent series called “Vanity” has a subject that adds more impact to his otherwise beautiful images. And online and off it is being recognised with features in Wired, Gizmodo, Designboom and a host of other huge publications.
Murray uses a rectangular mirror that he drags into the lake (see behind the scenes video below) along with his other photography equipment, stands it in an inch deep water so that it captures the reflection of the sky and the lake in it along with the landscape.
This is what Murray says about his work:
“The mirror can be seen as emblematic of our obsession with ourselves, individually, and collectively. In the ‘Vanity’ series, rather than reflecting our own ‘surface’ image, the mirror is positioned to draw our gaze out and away from ourselves, into the environment, driving us towards an emotional engagement with light, colour and space.”
Murray started this series in 2003 and his long relationship with this lake has taken him there at least twenty times to date and he can sometimes be seen spending weeks there photographing the vast and infinite landscape of this lake.
It all started in 2001 when Murray made his first visit to this lake and one night as he wandered away from the campsite, he felt a connection to something that seemed to exist beyond his conscious mind. He felt a sensation of calm and this experience defined his pursuit of landscape photography.
“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.”
Here is the behind the scenes video of how Murray did this work:
Here is a little about Murray:
Murray is self-taught in photography and has completed his Master of Arts and then his MFA at the College of Fine Arts in the University of New South Wales.
Since the start of Murray’s career, his works involved making solo journeys to remote and more often extreme locations.
Murray Fredericks is represented by Hamiltons Gallery in London, Arc One Gallery in Melbourne and Annandale Galleries in Sydney. His works are exhibited internationally and around Australia.
Murrays works also sit in major public and private and corporate collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, National Portrait Gallery, Elton John, Valentino, RBS, Commonwealth Bank and Macquarie Bank Collections.
Murray’s “Vanity” series is currently exhibited at the Hamiltons Gallery in London until the 06th of September, 2017. Here is a video of Murray talking about the series in this exhibition at the gallery.
More of Murray's work can be found on his Website and social media pages below.