Fredrick White has been making art since 1985. He received his Bachelor of Arts (fine art sculpture) from Victoria College, Prahran in 1988. He completed his Honours at RMIT University in 1999.
Predominantly working in metals his practice is focused on an investigation and meditation into the notions of connection. The work radiates a formal aesthetic while developing more complex and emotional layers of meaning. On the surface these works are not autobiographical but his sculptures are a reflection of his time and experience of this world and represent the suggestion that water is a sign of the emotional and physical body.
“I am interested in the stuff that holds us together, the dominant paradigms of human life, our reliance on the Earth and each other. There is no separation between anything – birth/death, above/below, past/future – all are part of the life cycle of living things. The life cycle is the main motif of my practice and is a manifestation of my Piscean nature.”
The sculpture Ecology 1990 is a foundation work to an understanding of his art practice, as it literally suggested a physical connection to the Earth, extending the reading of the piece beyond the manifest limits of the sculpture itself. The artist continued to explore this theme in Manwhole 1999. Bolted on top of a manhole cover at the end of a laneway, it visually connected itself to the network of pipes and drains running beneath it, an urban primal fantasy unifying the whole built world. This gesture rendered the work semi-functional, excavated or pushed up from the under- ground, something not normally seen now revealed.
In 2007 White was commissioned to undertake his first major public sculpture From Life To Life at Bridgetown, Western Australia and in 2010 he created two major public commissions in Western Queensland – Drawing Water in Thargomindah and Lifespan at Blackall. These three public sculptures continue the development of White’s artistic vision, drawing on universal themes and aesthetics that have been evident since the beginning of his artistic practice.
White was the winner of the Montalto Sculpture Prize in 2013. He continues to investigate our connection to the earth and the archetypes of our existence.