Peter Fraser

03rd March 2020

Also look at Peter Fraser’s close shots of found phenomena at http://www.peterfraser.net. These photographs either create for find salient and amusing new meanings in everyday objects. The ‘visual’ description of their images is not what the work is ‘about’, but the effect of a juxtaposition, arrangement or phenomenon.

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg127

Unfortunately I cannot access this website as BT are flagging it up as a dangerous website. At first I thought it was because I work on Apple products, iMac, iPad and iPhone and I contacted the college but they could access the website with their iMacs. Then my daughter tried to access the web page on her Windows gaming computer and she got another different pop up claiming the website was harmful.

The screenshot below shows what happens when my computer gets to the given url, peterfraser.net

Because of this error I have google searched his work and have bought the book Editor Jeremy Millar (2002), Peter Fraser. England, The Photographers’ Gallery. The book was published to accompany exhibition in 2002 at The Photographers’ Gallery, London.

I am not sure if Fraser’s work on the website is along the same lines as his work within the above book. I, to be honest, am not impressed with the work that I have seen so far. It is exactly on the lines of so much of my work where I look for connections, shapes, patterns, lines, colours and textures as well as oddities which can be found in the smaller glimpses of life. The work is involved in engaging oneself with the whole environment that we are in which includes the smaller parts of it that we always walk by because we do not focus in on details.

However, my initial response is one where I do not know the context of the images. If I research the working concept and method, listen to some interviews and generally delve into Fraser more throughly, would? could? my mind be changed?

I am also wondering if the whole marvelling of this work is because when Fraser originally began to shoot his found images the shift from black and white to colour was new.

Over the past twenty years, Peter Fraser has established himself as one of the most important and influential British photographers of his generation. One of the first in his country to recognise and embrace the poetic possibilities of colour photography, Fraser has created an extraordinary body of work while looking, most often, at the most ordinary of things. In describing his practice over this period, Fraser has remarked:

With each series of photographs I choose different strategy to approach the same underlying preoccupation, which is, essentially, trying to understand what the world around me is made of thought the act of photographing it.

Page 5 – Editor Jeremy Millar (2002), Peter Fraser. England, The Photographers’ Gallery.

Photographer Peter Fraser shows us around an exhibition of his work at Tate St Ives. Fraser has been at the forefront of colour photography as a fine art medium since the early 1980s, emerging alongside peers including Martin Parr and Paul Graham. Much of his work involves an almost obsessive focus on the small details of everyday life.  He talks to TateShots about his approach to image-making, and why he feels his work expresses the mysterious scope and range of the unconscious mind.

TATE YouTube video uploaded 2013

After watching this interview and reading the information within the book that I had bought, I found that learning the context behind his work gives the images more of a context and therefore a little more interest.

I also found Fraser himself (I hope to god he isn’t an OCA tutor), a bit full of himself as he is amazed when standing in an exhibition of his own work because he is confronted with a physical expression of his unconscious and therefore the viewer is seeing a mysterious, scope and range of his unconscious and it is exciting. Actually most GCSEs take on the focusing in on subjects and looking for details as a standard photography learning practice and lots of photographers, me included get down on their bellies to take photographs. I earned a nickname for this as I am always on the ground when out photographing anything and everything, on my back, belly and side – ‘the photographer with no legs’.

He also describes how ‘Two Blue Buckets’ is a marvellous photograph because they appear the same to begin with but as we focus in on them we notice they are different. Well actually you can see from a distance the different blue hues, shape and the rims etc… are different! Sometime I feel he is trying to make up a concept to fit a photograph to make it something more than it is. I could be wrong but I just get that feeling of an ‘A level’ student making something out of nothing in the hope of getting noticed.

So at the end of this research I found that some of his concepts, such as one of his first published works, ’12 Day Journey’ where he concentrated for 12 days and nights solidly on photography backed up his images as a concept but even then the images are just what many, many people take everyday. The concept for this series of work is strongest in the actual doing rather than the end product in that he traveled without ever knowing where or how and took photographs for four hours a day. But even this is quite uninteresting, to me personally, because I do this regularly, jump on trains and buses and just get off and photograph for the whole day… ??

So at the end of this research, again I must stress for me personally, I have not been inspired by Fraser or his works.


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