PETER FRASER: Mathematics | 2016 Janet Hall Memorial Lecture

TIME: 6.30pm Registration and drinks / 7.00pm PROMPT Lecture followed by Q&A and book signing

VENUE: Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design
Central House, London Metropolitan University

59-63 Whitechapel High Street
London E1 7PF (MAP)
(Opposite Whitechapel gallery, outside Aldgate East tube station)

TICKETS: 12.00 online before 8th November / 15 at door

STUDENTS: 5.00 with a student card / London Metropolitan students FREE with student card

London Independent Photography is delighted to invite you to an evening lecture with Peter Fraser. Each year we invite LIP members and the public to a unique lecture or conversation with a highly celebrated photographer. This special event is organised in partnership with the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University.

About Peter Fraser

Peter Fraser's work "results from such concentration that the act of seeing is tinged with a kind of euphoria, a palpable excitement that is channeled into, and can only be contained by, the photograph itself."
- David Chandler, Photoworks Magazine, Spring/Summer 2007

Peter Fraser is a British artist who has been at the forefront of contemporary photography since the early 80s. After a landmark exhibition with William Eggleston in Bristol in 1984, he became one of the first British photographers to work exclusively in colour.

Born in Cardiff in 1953, he graduated in photography from Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) in 1976. In 2002 the Photographer's Gallery in London staged a twenty-year survey of his work, and in 2004 he was shortlisted for the Citibank Photography Prize. In 2009 he was given a major commission by The Ffotogallery, Wales, to return to his country of birth; this project became Lost For Words. The most recent of many exhibitions was a solo show at Tate St Ives in 2013; it was accompanied by a Tate monograph. Galleries and museums all over the world have been adding his photographs to their collections.

Peter has been teaching photography at colleges all over the UK and has many books to his name. The most recent is Mathematics, published this year in an edition of only twelve.

The Lecture

Peter will speak about his book latest work, Mathematics. He explains:

In the 4th century B.C. Aristotle credited Pythagoras with the view that the principles of mathematics are the principles of all things; Aristotle's own philosophic, spiritual and mathematical thinking led him to propose that at the deepest level, reality is mathematical in nature.

For Galileo, writing nineteen centuries later, nature is "a grand book" that is "written in the language of mathematics".

More recently, Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics at M.I.T. has proposed that at the most fundamental level not only does maths describe the world we live in, it is the world we live in. If you grant that both space and everything in space is mathematical, then it begins to sound less insane that everything is mathematical".

I find this idea of a mathematical structure behind everything absolutely compelling, and may well draw energy from the fact that as a schoolboy I loved mathematics, chemistry and physics, and even then understood mathematics to be 'beautiful'.

The atomic structure of materials, and the influence of DNA on the appearance of people and other living organisms, both of which rely on the language of mathematics for their expression. Behavioural and thought patterns of living things can be 'brain mapped' generating expression through mathematics.

Forces at work, which lead to the shaping of materials and their outward appearance, and the effects of light on the perception of our surroundings, are all day to day ways in which reality can be articulated through mathematics.

I have approached the making of these new photographs very much with these ideas in mind- that mathematics can explain the world, or at least describe it in a way that approaches an explanation. Furthermore, with an understanding that our fascination with, and use of, mathematics is by no means morally neutral, I asked a number of the people portrayed in this series to imagine that they had just discovered that something they had always believed to be true had just been found to be a lie. I invite the viewer to do likewise and, in considering these new images, to imagine how complex mathematics might give form to everything we see in them.

LIPs Talk events are being held in partnership with the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University. They are informal and social, and open to LIP members and non-members alike, so bring your friends and share your projects! You'll leave the evening feeling inspired and with new perspectives - whether you're a photographer or not.