Thursday, February 8, 2024


Photography Exhibition Review | Brian Rope

Water | Cristy Froehlich

The Link, Ginninderry, 1 McClymont Way, Strathnairn | 23 Jan - 3 Mar 2024

Canberra photographer Cristy Froehlich is so fascinated by droplets of water that she has brought them to life via her camera lens. In her exhibition, Water, Froehlich has produced images of her constructed interactions between water, light, time, colour, texture and oil. 

Froehlich has a Diploma in Photo Imaging and gained photographic accreditation through the now, sadly, defunct – after 75 years - Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). She was awarded the Epson 2017 ACT AIPP Emerging Photographer of the Year. 2024 is a watershed for Froehlich as she has just resigned from her Public Service position after a 20-year career. This will allow her to commit more time to her passions - photography and nature.

I have not seen an exhibition of this artist’s work previously. Indeed, my only knowledge of Froehlich was when she critiqued entries, including mine, at a Canberra Photographic Society event in November 2023. So it was most interesting to learn about her online.

You can see this artist’s works on her own website, plus Facebook and Instagram. You can learn from her by participating in her free monthly Be Curious Photo Walks (which have their own FB page, and there is a video about on YouTube). The more I read about Froehlich, the more I saw about her clear love of nature. She is soon to conduct courses about photo editing and macro photography for Nature Art Lab.

The nineteen images, plus several large acrylic tiles, on display in this exhibition were taken with the artist seated on a chair, with a tripod and camera set up. Froehlich has written “Water was dripped, dropped, placed, pushed and squeezed. It had oil, paint, food dye and glycerine added. Water was frozen, defrosted and soaked up.”

The resultant images displayed are eye-catching, graphic, conceptual and aesthetically pleasing. I have no doubt many would be delighted to have one or more of these artworks displayed on the walls of their own homes. Solidarity is just one example of a deliciously coloured fine art print matted and displayed within a white shadow box frame.

Solidarity - 51 x 51 cm Framed artwork © Cristy Froehlich

Frozen also has a range of colours but is a very different artwork. You might spend quite some time working out for yourself what plants have been used in its creation – if you think that matters.

Frozen - 51 x 51 cm Framed artwork © Cristy Froehlich

Not all the images are coloured in the sense that we usually use the word. Whilst black is a colour, you might simply see Disparity as a monochromatic image.

Disparity - 51 x 51 cm Framed artwork © Cristy Froehlich

Some prints are on cotton rag paper. Some are high gloss metallic prints. Others are described in the artist’s exhibition sheet as being fine art prints on delicate paper. Some of the artworks are displayed in white shadow box frames. Others are framed in black. And some have “delicate floating torn edges.” All reveal that Froehlich has an artist’s eye and presents each work in the way she believes it looks best. The variety in presentation is a bonus.

As already mentioned, there also are prints mounted on acrylic tiles. The artist speaks of these works as taking on a view of water or bubbles through water. One example, Escape, presents a quite intriguing image. It is described as taking on “the view of water when looked at through water.” Of course it doesn’t matter what it is we are looking at but, sometimes, the challenges of trying to work subjects out have a habit of drawing us right in. If you had this one on display in your home, I’d expect every visitor you had would want you to tell them about it.

Escape - 10 x 10 cm Acrylic block © Cristy Froehlich

This review is also available on the author's blog here.