Miroir D’eau

Reflections

For a long time I’ve been exploring the use of water as a medium, as a canvas, as a lens, as a mirror and particularly the effect it has on the way we see the human figure. In Paris, in December of 2014, I was struck by a puddle of water on the pavement. The image in the puddle was of glass buildings overhead against a clear blue sky. I felt like the water was a window through the sidewalk into another world. The boundaries of the image in this other world were imperfect, they were blurred, and they were not static because of the movement of the water. Nevertheless, the water captured the image just as a painting captures an image by artificial means.

It seemed to me that the form of capturing the image might best be explored and played with through photography, to capture the feeling in the same way as water in a puddle might cover a piece of pavement. The magic of painting then allows the image to be captured in a permanent way whereas in the puddle, when the water evaporates, the image is gone.

These images are intended to convey the experience of a way of seeing. The indistinctness of the human figure, the irregularity of the form in which it appears, and the ephemeral atmosphere all echo, for me, the fleeting impression of life in and reflected in water.

I have always been intrigued by the possibilities of photographing people under water. For me, it becomes a natural lens that re-focuses and reinterprets the painterly aesthetic. Water allows me to move the human figure in unconventional ways. It allows me the ability to play with notions of time and place. Seeing through water, rather than through air, makes me re-envision the nature of my relationship to my surroundings. I have become absorbed by the way water heightens and mythologizes human action and experience.

Water is the essential ingredient of life. It’s dual nature is fascinating. It is calm and ferocious, gentle and strong embodying that collision of the real/unreal that I have long cultivated in my work. Under the water, there is an altered sense of reality. Matter becomes fluid and human figures become abstracted shapes, their proportions redefined. Movement is slowed, as though to be savoured, the outside world is transformed into a distant dreamscape. Sounds become almost tangible. Miroir D’eau attempts to provide a physical presence for these elusive shapes and to portray the textural richness of this subject matter.

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