First post. Entry with a splash!
Updated: Oct 31, 2018
On the philosophy and drive behind Water Pixies
The photograph above is of me as a young boy learning to swim. I have always loved water and now love the metaphors it stands for in this post.
I am no much older, possibly no wiser, and the proud father of Anatole, my son. I take him swimming pretty often. I put my mask on and I watch him move in the weightless 3 dimensional space - flipping, turning, splashing - and I think to myself that it is my favourite time of the week, that witnessing such spontaneity, enthusiasm and liveliness is what makes life so meaningful.
Having a child of my own has made me realise that childhood’s effervescent and enthusiastic nature is rarely more loudly expressed than in and around a swimming pool (parents know what I am talking about)! As a photographer, I can’t capture the sound, in fact, I am not sure I would want to; but I do want to capture that energy and moment in space and time.
Photography stops the clock, it allows us to keep a fixed image of a moment that is already gone, it facilitates the remembering and visualising of (more often than not) our best memories - what makes life worthwhile. In a sense, by the simple act of recording, it makes reality "more real" yet also "more than real".
Water suspends gravity, it allows us to move or stand still, weightlessly. Nothing ‘grounds us anymore’, we can freely ‘float’ about. We feel light, both physically, and often also emotionally. Even the darker sinking feeling metaphor often stands for letting go. In any case, it is always a time clearly separate from daily pressures, a time during which we get to relax our muscles and our minds, we get to directly experience what is essential.
With photography and water combined, a different light is shed on childhood’s spontaneous excitement and endless energy; the weightless grace of a pregnant woman; the complicity of a loving couple; or the mateship between friends or athletes. We also get to witness the growing confidence of a child or athlete in a foreign element, a good analogy for how we learn to overcome challenges in life as a whole.
Together, photography and water reveal a ‘magically real world’, a world that is readily available yet seldom visually recorded, a world that is fundamentally authentic yet simultaneously otherworldly, seemingly revealing the essence of what it is to be alive (splashing and floating about) yet also, strangely, outside of our 'regular' space-time.
Water Pixies tries to capture a bit of that special moment and thereby incite others to see the magic. Once it is captured, it can be shared, and what are we if not social beings sharing meaningful experiences with each other?
Now you know why I love taking underwater images, I'll try to soon write a post about why I think it made perfect sense to turn this into something I could live from professionally and what kind of values I would like to put into this business.
Till next time.
Gwen Founder / Photographer of Water Pixies