“I’m fascinated by how we experience and perceive different bodies of water. This exhibition looks to connect us emotionally and physically with these spaces of water, and looks at how we interact with water, with the vast open ocean and, in contrast, the confined constructed swimming pool. Both share similarities in the way we experience these spaces, but there are also huge differences in the intensity of our interaction with these spaces, our sense of freedom, joy, elation, exposure, fear, and possibility. There is an otherworldly experience immersed in water that no other environment offers to me, a visceral intensity of sensation where my imagination connects with my expanded and primordial self.”
The deep ocean, vast and unrestrained, is a place of beauty but also environmental degradation, and a space of restorative and sustainable practices as well as depletion and destruction. The ocean triggers a sense of awe and the sublime, of the infinite and the unknown, the deep stirring of the imagination and an intimacy as well as vastness. Likewise the swimming pool also connects us intimately, buoyantly with this smooth caressing liquid. But in contrast to the openness of the sea the pool is contained, constructed, known – it’s a space of leisure, pleasure, relaxation and exercise, in relative safety. It’s a space to dream.
Each of these bodies of water provide spaces of transition: between air and water, breathing and holding one’s breath, illumination and refraction of light from the sun and moon and total inky darkness, floating and sinking; and distortion of sounds and shapes. Common to these liminal spaces is an experience of ‘flow’ where we inhabit a state of ‘bare attention’, of presence, that brings with it a sense of freedom and recovery, a sense of the self.
These works offer sensuous and psychologically compelling encounters with bodies of water and explore human vulnerability in these environments.- Cathy Carter