Susan Fereday an Australian artist whose practise centres on photography. Her work engages issues of truth, transformation and interdimensionality. It has been described as philosophic, melancholic and magical.
Susan is widely known for her post-photographic installations such as The Object of Photography (1994, 1995) and In a Silent way (2013) in which she uses simple elements - glass and metal bowls, mirrors, light and shadows - to invoke the logic of photography by other means. Wail (2007), Grail (2008) and Black Sun (2009) are major works that re-image the first historical photographs of Talbot and Niepce using papier mache balls, glass goblets, projected light and shadows.
Susan also collects found photographs as in her series, Under a Steel Sky (2008), in which 1950s snapshots of people sleeping in their cars resemble Robert Frank's photo-documentary series, The Americans (1958). She has dubbed such found photographs 'photo-povera'. The mysterious suite of photographs in Ilsley Green Road (2005) appear to offer evidence of an illicit love affair on a road trip through rural England in the 1950s. A collection of reworked studio portraits of German children on their first day of school during the 1930s forms the haunting series, Speaking for the Dead (2016).
Susan is also known for her re-photographs of background details in magazine advertising which strangely resemble UFOs and stars, as presented in her series, Untitled Found Objects, (1993, 1995), The Object of Photography (1994, 1995), Untitled Future Object (2002) and Infinite Image (2013).
Installations & Videos
A cycle of six installations in Remember Me (2002-2002) use video projections, light and sculptural elements to explore loss and subjectivity. These contain video elements such as Not I (2001/2012) and Untitled Future Object (2002) which like Nothing Special (2005/2012) invoke UFOs photography's allure of truth.
Art with Text
Early Wall-based 3D works such as Anxious Objects (1991, 1993), Object a (1993) and A Natural Selection (2002) combine found domestic objects with labels to appear like trophies of arch modernism. Other text-based multiples such as Last Painting (1992), Read Me (1993), Unreconstructed Fridge Magnet (2008), and her book made from tv tag-lines I Fall in Love With a Beautiful Newcomer Hiding a Deadly Secret (2000), use humour to explore the fragility of identity.
A monograph, The Object of Photography (2013) explores Susan Fereday's work to date.
Keywords: photography, photographer, art, artist, Australia, Australian, memory, death, subjectivity, desire, illusion, feminine, reproduction, absence, loss, re-photography, post-photography, photography by proxy, photo povera, reflection, light, shadow, installation, video, plato's cave, fifth dimension, abstract, found photographs, snapshots.