Anne Ferran Body of Water

7 February –
9 March 2013

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Body of Water, an exhibition of two video works by Anne Ferran – Body of Water and Swansong (Tchaikovsky remix) – that evocatively address the impact of urban expansion.

Body of Water draws upon an erstwhile journey Ferran took through a network of small rivers and canals in east London, known as the Bow Back Rivers, which were recently transformed by building infrastructure for the 2012 London Olympics. Ferran travelled slowly by boat through a landscape of abandoned factories, waste yards and wharves that seem to belong to another world, thereby documenting the waterways’ beauty before it disappeared. Filmed half a world away on a river south of Sydney, Swansong (Tchaikovsky remix) presents a landscape whose proximity to suburban development is belied by its sylvan appearance. Amidst a moody setting of dark water and overhanging trees, we see a lone model swan seized by the water’s current and swept away. By installing the two works across Sutton’s gallery spaces, Ferran intimates the sense of space and time that separates the two distinct worlds she has captured. At the same time, the soundtrack composed by Chris Abrahams that pervades both spaces is a sign of their underlying connection.

With a career spanning more than two decades, Ferran has an extensive exhibition history. Selected individual exhibitions include: CANAL, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2009; Anne Ferran: The Ground, The Air, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart, 2008; Spill, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 2002; Flock, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2001; You Are Here, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, 2000; Scenes on the Death of Nature, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 1986; and Carnal Knowledge, Performance Space, Sydney, 1984.

Recent group exhibitions include: Photography & Place: Australian landscape photography 1970s until now, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2011; and Stormy Weather: Contemporary Landscape Photography, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2010. Ferran has also featured in the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, in 1990, and Australian Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, in 1985.

Ferran’s work is held in most major Australian public collections, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales; Art Gallery of South Australia; Monash University, Melbourne; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; and National Gallery of Victoria. Internationally, her work has been collected by museums in Japan, New Zealand and the United States, including George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography, in Rochester, New York. Anne Ferran is an Associate Professor in Photomedia, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.

Artist’s profile