Biography


John Frederick Anderson (Fred) was born in Philadelphia, USA in 1964, and after five years, his parents moved to the UK, then at twelve, to South Africa, and at sixteen, to Australia, where he completed High School and University and began his photographic career.


He double majored in Sixteenth Century Chinese History and Pre-Socratic Greek Philosophy at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, for his Bachelor of Arts, before working as a photographer and designer in Sydney for several years. 


Fred then freelanced as photographer in London for eleven years shooting news, features, theatre and fashion advertising after completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Photojournalism from the London School of Printing, where his thesis was an investigation into the emergence of an Ethnic Press in London during the Nineteen- Nineties. Fred spent a year working pro-bono in India with the British High Commission, taking photographs for various local charities primarily concerned with women’s health in slums and rural areas.


Upon returning to the UK, Fred studied a MA in Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport where his thesis investigated the relationship of words and images in contemporary fine art photography through the discipline of Semiotics. His final project, called ‘reveal’, asked 30 young people from the city of Bristol to chose two locations that revealed their city over a period of two years surrounding the millennium. ‘reveal’ was exhibited at the Watershed Gallery, Bristol in 2002/3 and continued as an educational and cultural website for eighteen years after. 


Fred also has a MFA in Fine Art Photography from the University of Belfast School of Art where his thesis investigated the hidden economy of the vernacular image in digital communication, and for which he submitted the project Grid Cities- Les Bastides, a visual study of the architecture and urban propositions of the Bastide towns of southern France built in the twelfth and thirteen century. 


His photographic practice explores two themes- time and identity, sometimes in the same project. 

Fred  uses a 4x5 inch field camera for his work, but also shoots some digital.


Fred currently teaches Photography, Photojournalism and Semiotics courses at several local and international Universities and schools in Spain. 


As an artist, he has exhibited internationally with work in private and institutional collections, including the Arxiu Fotografic de Barcelona. His most recent exhibition was at the Centro Português de Fotografia in Porto, Portugal and makes a visual study of the architectural responses promoted and supervised by the Marquis de Pombal to the earthquake and tsunami that befell Lisbon and southern Portugal in 1755. 


Fred gives workshops and talks about his photographic projects to local and international groups, and has designed and published three catalogues about his photographic series on Grid Cities. 


Fred has been based in Spain since 2002, speaks English, is fluent Spanish and his French could be better. He enjoys hiking, and is furthering his research on Semiotics and culture, as well as making new Grid Cities projects around the world.