Iain Crawford is a world-renowned photographer who frequently dresses his models in movement and chaos while preserving the textural quality of the photo and the individual’s emotions. Having his models splashed in colorful paints and powders, and (in this case) water allows Crawford the opportunity to capture surreal interactions between the subject and her environment. In this photograph, Crawford captures the explosive moment a woman creates by breaking the boundary between air and water.
Blue water splashes around the woman as she enters this liquid dimension. As she engages with the water, she does not merge with it. Water is able to wrap around her because it remains distinct from the woman. Crawford emphasizes that the interaction between two separate things, which remain separate in nature, has the potential to create something beautiful and unique. Once we recognize this bridging of divides between the distinct, other bridges become visible, for example, the bridge between motion and stillness. Where the woman seems nearly frozen, mesmerized by this other world that she has entered, the water is defined by its vibrant blue motion, surging past the woman and constantly altering its form to allow the woman to explore it.
As time passes, shapes, forms, and bodies change in space. In a photograph like this, where chaotic movement plays a dominant role, we are hyper-aware that this image exists in only a split-second of time. Every time someone disrupts a barrier between movement and stillness, chaos and control, or time and space, the value of the moment can be easily lost. Having paused a passing moment, we are made aware of Crawford’s authority over our perception of time and space. Moreover, Crawford reminds his audience that when we turn our attention to these passing moments, we can find something beautiful. To be able to recognize these mesmerizing moments in our own lives, we must focus on the present in the same way that Crawford does in this photograph.
What do you think of this photograph?