Dr Martyn Jolly, Head of Photography and Photo Media Arts in the ANU School of Art, opened Sleepwalker, an exhibition by PhD candidate Ursula Frederick in the Huw davies Gallery at PhotoAccess yesterday. The exhibition runs in parallel with a retrospective from Huw Davies himself entitled Spirit series and other late works.
Ursula’s Sleepwalker is a series of images developed over several years of visiting the Jindabyne tip.
Ursula says, “I was struck by a veritable mountain of mattresses rising up out of the ground amidst rocks and trees.
“I began to explore, clambering over springs, and fabrics and fragments of wood, but because of its deteriorated state I could never really ascend its heights. Walking around and over the sprawl of mattresses I couldn’t help but see the intimate histories they carry. Each photograph is then a kind of portrait, a memento of dreams and the bodies they cushioned.
“The work as a whole is also a reflection on our society’s approach to consumption and waste and how are actions inevitably alter the landscapes we live in.”
David Chalker, in his review in the exhibition catalogue, comments, “The images in Sleepwalker are deceptive. At one level they have a strong decorative impact: carefully composed pattern and colour, some with tricky optical properties. Looked at more closely they reveal evidence of human habitation. Thought about they are pretty unsavoury—stains and other relics of people and the time spent in their beds. It’s a very intimate look. As Frederick says ‘…each and every imperfection in the mattress is a reminder of human frailties and our shortsightedness.’”
David's full review can be read at PhotoAccess.