In the three years from 2010 to 2013, Australian photographer Murray Fredericks made six journeys to the center of Greenland’s Ice Sheet to create his latest project, Topophilia. In it, Fredericks explores the subjects of “space” and the “void.” Aiming to convey ‘an emotional experience of space’, he describes an inner, rather than outer landscape.
Fredericks locates his projects in featureless, perfectly flat landscapes austerely defined by an unbroken and continuous horizon. Working in such minimal environments, temporal atmospheric phenomena and the subtleties of light become powerful elements that define the visual plane. Verging on transcendental, this view transports us beyond our culturally imbued recognitions of the geographical qualities of place.
In these locations, Fredericks seeks images that transcend literal landscapes or documentary photographs. As a result, his projects extend over many years, with months spent in inhospitable places like the Greenland Ice Sheet. From the thousands of photographs produced, only a handful of images successfully convey this experience of space—where the landscape becomes merely the medium, rather than the subject.
Editor’s Note: Topophilia was shown as an exhibition at the ARC ONE gallery in Melbourne from November 6 to December 7, 2013.