Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Emma Critchley works with free-diver models in creating still and moving images under water. She begins a residency at Meantime with her talk tonight, reviewing the work she has done during her short career to date. It's impressive.

"The fear of falling" stills sequence shows Sophie Lewis (costumed as an 18th Century lady) gradually taking off her elaborate outer garments. The slower pace of pre-Industrial Revolution life (hand-made clothes etc.) echoes a certain suspension of time under water, the model being as it were rooted in the present. "In holding your breath," Emma said, "you channel your thoughts inwards."

Contrasted with this was an agonisingly long (5 minutes plus) video of a couple diving down and coming together in a kiss: erotic at first, but making the viewer gradually aware of the increasing risk to both lives as the strength of their mutually-exchanged breaths depletes.

Emma doesn't manipulate her images, so to contrast with her monochromes, I've put this snatched shot through the mangle.

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