Being submerged in that striped icy sunlit world of the backyard pool is a sensation that fills us with wonder. Dreamlike for the way it absorbs the sky and wraps us in blue, while suffocating the everyday sounds above the surface into a deep, atonal murmur. But our experience of this world only lasts a few seconds at a time. Holding your breath, you look up to see a sheet of wavy light, and like a cork you are pulled to the surface to breathe once again.

We are drawn to the water because, like the air, it sustains and purifies us. Mystified by it, though, because we cannot live in it. A world we feel on occasion but cannot know.

 

 

Luciana Abait’s photographs stir our memories of underwater beauty with a Zen sensibility. Ladders, depth markers, stairs, the rough cement walls, and the dangling legs of swimmers form what she calls “architectural landscapes found underwater” – ordinary objects that, when perceived through water, become haunting, yet evoke feelings of freedom and play.


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