Water is universally symbolic with connotations of purity, spirituality and fertility and a giver of life. In art and literature, water is considered the universal symbol for change; forever flowing and taking any path.
I’ve always been a water baby and learnt to swim from an early age. I remember my village primary school having an outdoor pool, which was quite unheard of in rural Kent, it was absolutely baltic but I have vivid memories of doing the “doggie paddle” from one end to the other. We were also fortunate enough to have a swimming pool when we lived in Zambia for two years (circa 1978), which even had a spring board, I thought it was amazing and we used it daily. Even when visiting my grandparents in Nottingham we would use the local pool every day without fail.
This preamble brings me to my final year degree project and how it originated. Whilst undergoing treatment for breast cancer 2016/17 I had to have a PIC line inserted in my arm in order for the chemotherapy to be administered more efficiently. Obviously this meant that there was no swimming for me due to the risk of infection and that the line was not compromised, even showering and bathing was problematic and I used to wrap cling film and cover it with a elasticated waterproof cover so I could still have a bath, albeit a bit awkward. Despite its issue I still used to spend ages in the bath daily as it was the only way I would feel cleansed, chemo makes you feel truly awful and I felt strangely purer going through the whole bathing process. By turning this episode of my life into a positive, I embarked on this project as a form of personal therapy; water has paid an important role in my recovery and stimulated my creative process.
The water from my bath, swimming pools, canals, puddles, the sea, Fleet pond, rivers and lakes were utilised in this project.
As an exhibition, “Fluid Atmospheres” is a series of still, tactile and moving images. The focus of the project is to stimulate a contemplative but personal introspection of the role that water plays in our lives. The intention is to depict sensuality, symbolism, the elemental and the therapeutic colliding with each other. It hopes to add potency and meaning, representing part of journey based on memory, understanding and the future, stressing life’s mutability.