“The atomic structure of materials, and the influence of DNA on the appearance of people and all other living organisms, rely on the language of mathematics for their expression,” says British photographer Peter Fraser, whose new exhibition is called Mathematics. On show at the Camden Arts Centre, it’s a wide-ranging series which brings together seemingly disparate, people, objects, and landscapes, shot in various places and locations.
For Fraser they’re linked by the fact they can all be described mathematically. “I’m inviting the viewer to imagine that mathematics is the code behind everything we see in each of these images,” he says. “And therefore the encyclopaedic nature of the way the subjects jump and change around is really important, for me, to try to suggest the totality of our environment mathematics can describe.”
Born in Cardiff in 1953, Fraser was mentored by William Eggleston and emerged alongside peers such as Martin Parr and Paul Graham. Nominated for the Citygroup International Photography Prize in 2004 [the prize is now known as the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize], his work shows an ongoing interest in the everyday; Mathematics was inspired by his interest in philosophers such as Aristotle, Pythagoras, and Galileo, as well as by the contemporary physicist and cosmologist Max Tegmark, and their belief that mathematics underpins the world around us.
“To read just a few of his [Tegmark’s] points on the universe and the relationship between mathematics and the universe, I found utterly compelling,” says Fraser. “Namely, for example, Max Tegmark believes that the universe is a physical expression of mathematics, and therefore scientists and mathematicians and so on are simply archeologists uncovering the fundamental code.”
Mathematics by Peter Fraser is on show at Camden Arts Centre until 16 September www.camdenartscentre.org/whats-on/view/fraser