Our conscious perception of time changes when submerged for once immersed it is difficult to escape the present moment. The water invites us to surrender to a profound sense of timelessness and presents us with the possibility of entering new modalities of sensing, perceiving and connecting. Could it be possible that these shifts, with their deep sense of falling and sinking into being, are comparable to experiences of consciousness experienced centuries ago?
Over the last two hundred years our pace of life has been significantly uprooted and is now increasingly fuelled in a frenetic and unsettled way. We have grown accustomed to living in the past and future but rarely in the immediate moment. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, without travel, technology and digital communications, were we able to be more confidently and firmly located in the present? Daily life then, with the handcrafting of objects and garments, the cultivation of the land and generations of established communities, surely created a greater opportunity for grounding and contemplation? Did attending to fine detail, through the day-by-day processes of making and doing, enable a more mediative experience and richer engagement with the present moment? And are we now, with our disconcerting inclination towards constant over-simulation, inadvertently creating a path in which our inability to be present will be lost in the past?
Drawing upon studio portraiture from around the advent of photography, The Fear of Falling, in it’s layers of enquiry, seeks to make apparent connections between past, acts of crafting and submergence. With these questions in mind, the underwater series endeavours to invite reflection upon our own relationship with the present and encourages the opportunity to fall and land with fresh alignment.