Dead End by Alan McFetridge
For his first solo exhibition at Wedge Gallery, Dead End, Alan McFetridge culminates work from his research project on fire ecology shot across Australia and Canada. A hauntingly beautiful array of large-scale photographs and camera-less photograms creates an acute awareness of fossil fuels danger to social, economic, and political stability.
As climate heating takes hold, McFetridge’s field studies are organised to translate the impact of 21st Century fire regimes. In these new works, which includes his latest photobook, On The Line, McFetridge moves from a distant overview of aftermath to make contact with fire itself. This progression is achieved by altering camera techniques. A tripod-mounted large format digital camera creates cinematic landscapes, composed in wide angle from human head height perspective. A bulky 6x7 analogue film camera is hand-held in near freezing conditions. Fire contact is made by adapting a technique from inventor Fox Talbot who produced his first successful photographic images in 1834 without a camera. Dried plants were collected from the forest floor and placed onto instant film. By matchstick the ignition burns the dried plants and exposes the film simultaneously.