Cristy Froelich’s new photographic exhibition, detailed droplets to drown your senses in

  • Cristy leaning forward against a wall with her hand under her chin.
Most people would see droplets of water and barely register their existence, however, Canberra photographer Cristy Froehlich is so fascinated by water that she has brought it to life via her camera lens.

“Water” is an exhibition which will be held at The Link from January 23 to March 3.

In it, Cristy constructs interactions between water, light, time, colour, texture and oil. The images are arresting, geometric, abstract and beautiful.

“I’d like to tell you the photos were taken in a crisp white studio with loads of room and big fancy equipment, but I’d be lying,” Cristy laughs.

“The images are taken in my home studio, a converted bedroom that is fitted with storage around the walls and a large solid wood pre-loved dining table in the middle. I have large studio lights that were generously gifted to me by my partner Doug (also a photographer and videographer) and many, many odd-shaped bowls, glass, dishes, pipets and cloths,” she admits rather sheepishly.

“These images were taken with me on a chair, with a tripod set up and my camera – playing! Water was dripped, dropped, placed, pushed and squeezed. It had oil, paint, food dye and glycerine added. Water was frozen, defrosted and soaked up. I literally got lost in that room while relaxation music played and I forgot what day and time it was.”

Cristy fell in love with photography aged 23 in 2005 when she bought her first Sony Cybershot point-and-shoot camera (yes, she still has it!).

“I distinctly recall sitting on my front step watching the water droplets roll down leaves on a rainy day and was fascinated with the detail, reflections, refractions and the amazing architecture of a leaf, which rolled the water down to the ground. I think I truly started ‘seeing’ that day.”

Some 20 years later, her fascination with water remains. In 2022, as a result of her voluntary work in a Platypus Health study run at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve where she helped test the waterways, Cristy became artistically obsessed with water bugs — her ‘World of Waterbugs’ exhibition taking place later that year.

Having supported herself with a career in the Public Service while pursuing photography in all her spare hours and undertaking professional education including completing a Diploma in Photo Imaging and gaining photographic accreditation through the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, Cristy spent years in the portraiture game but found her true calling was in nature.

She was awarded the Epson 2017 ACT AIPP Emerging Photographer of the Year and won a Gold award at the Australian Professional Photography Awards in 2018—all for her nature photography.

This year is a watershed as Cristy holds her upcoming exhibition and scales back to part-time Public Service work in order to commit more time to her passions of both photography and nature.

Cristy has been running monthly Be Curious Photo Walks in which she takes small groups on walks to encourage their artistic eye.

“I’ve realised over the years that as humans we are getting further and further away from the ‘outside’ and nature. I’ve realised being indoors and in front of a computer screen and being contactable 24/7 for all the ‘things’ is not good for us…We are animals and we need time to be outdoors, connect, see, listen and feel the elements and everything around us!”

The free walks encourage others to “see” what is literally just outside their door.

And for those reading this and feeling inspired, Cristy says “YES iPhones are OK! Anything that captures an image for your intended purpose is OK. The best camera you can have, is whatever is with you at the time right?”

Cristy did, however, use her Cannon 5D IV and specialised macro lenses ranging from a Canon 100mm f2.8/L and a specialised and no-longer-in-production Canon MP-E 65 Macro lens.

To create this exhibition which includes 19 pieces and several large acrylic tiles, took months to shoot and compile.

Facing the enemies of evaporation, gravity, and air bubbles, Cristy said she was thrilled with the outcome.

“By mixing varying liquids, textures and oils, then adding colour and light, water can be photographed in such a way that it no longer looks like water as we know it.”

The details

What: Cristy Froehlich: “Water”

When: 23 January – 3 March 2024, with the official opening on Saturday 3 February 2024.

Where: The Link, Ginninderry, 1 McClymont Way, Strathnairn

More information: View the exhibition event and the official opening event pages for further detail.

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