BLAZE international premiere

Featured Program
Organiser: Head On Foundation
Free Event
Screengrab from teaser for BLAZE by Murray Fredericks
This event has concluded
Location: Bondi Pavilion, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach NSW, Australia
Entry Fee: Free, donations welcome
Genres: Landscape
Presenter(s): Murray Fredericks, Bentley Dean

This world-preiere screening is presented by Head On Foundation.

is Murray Fredericks previously photographed a series of large-scale landscape photographs with fire as their central theme. While shooting, he filmed BLAZE, an observational documentary by Academy Award-nominated team Bentley Dean (director) and Tania Nehme (editor).

Using non-destructive methods, Fredericks sets blazing trees, and often simply flame itself, against vast flooded lakes and river systems that have defined the interior of Australia over the La-Nina cycles of 2021 and 2022.

Bendable gas lines – that follow the trunks and leafless branches of these long dead trees – are sourced from film industry pyrotechnical specialists. The flames burn, but for a few seconds, enough time to capture the images as stills, leaving these ghosts on the landscape, intact.

Fire is a seminal element of both the ancient and contemporary Australian experience of country. Both fire and water have deep cultural histories as symbols in art and literature. Responding to these cultural references, Fredericks employs fire as an intervention in the flooded interior of Australia to create this series of powerful images.

The series was produced in the La Nina-drenched heat and humidity of the wet summer of 2012-22. The central Australian deserts and marginal areas are defined by an infinity of dry creek beds and salt pans, with rare biodiversity capable of withstanding years of drought and then exploding back to life when the wet comes. Because these periods of flood are rare, the series records the country in what has the quality of temporary landscapes.

This event will be in person without a livestream option.

Bentley Dean

Bentley Dean’s meanderings include AlQueda camps in Kandahar (President Versus David Hicks), Coups in Caracas (Anatomy of a Coup), The Western Desert with Martu (Contact) and a Kastom village in Vanuatu for a unique feature (Tanna); receiving multiple AACTA, Australian Directors Guild, Walkley, ACS awards, The Prime Ministers History Prize, and a nomination for an Academy Award. 

Murray Fredericks

Born in Sydney, Australia, Murray Fredericks is an international award-winning artist, well known for producing large-scale photographs of pure landscape at the intersection of place and space.

Murray Fredericks’s work is derived from a perspective that views culture as something that cannot be wholly accounted for through social construct. It’s a view that sees some values as derived from a ‘time-less essence’. The work attempts to represent the experience when thought is temporarily suspended and the mind encounters ‘other’.

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