Peter Fraser and the Spiny Creature

Untitled, from the monograph, Peter Fraser, Nazraeli Press, 2006, is, I think, one of the most fascinating of Peter Fraser’s images.
What is this object? It seems alive; a spiny creature tottering its way along a ledge. How did it come into being? Is it a casual way of storing cocktail sticks or a conscious creation? Its origin is open to speculation. The setting is an interior but it is unclear exactly what kind. The close framing of the photograph obscures the context and isolates the object, adding to its mysteriousness. Peter Fraser concentrates intently on it, capturing it in minute detail so that we can feel its physicality and almost touch it. Through the act of photographing he transfers his visceral experience to us, the viewer.

It is one of a series of objects Fraser concentrates upon in the Nazraeli monograph. Of this series he has said that ‘the work was based on the idea that, increasingly, the surface of the earth looks the way it does because the human brain directs the hand to change the shape and nature of materials’.

For more on Peter Fraser go to his website at
Peter Fraser, Untitled, from the monograph, Peter Fraser, Nazraeli Press, 2006