The call of the ocean has long been a focus of Narelle Autio’s work. Spending her childhood growing up in sun-soaked Australia she has had a lifetime relationship with the beach and is fascinated by the need for many of us to return to water. A primeval need connecting us to our ancient ancestors, pulling us back to where we came. The images dive into our collective memories and speak too many of their own personal experiences.
Cinematic in nature and using the play of light and colour familiar to all her work, she captures the complex relationship and drama of our love for the sea and our willingness to risk our lives to enjoy it.
“The water at the end of the jetty is dark. It is deep. I dive, down into the quiet and cold. I breathe out the remaining life I have left in me and sink further into the darkness. Looking up I watch the bubbles of air flee towards the light. Surrounded by things unknown, unseen, I wait. Wait and wait for the jumpers to disturb the stillness. My heart is beating, get out, get out, get out of here.”
“The water above me explodes in shock. I love that moment of immersion when the sea first grabs hold of us. Cocooned in a shroud of bubbles and light, suffocated by a cold, insisting watery embrace. There is a sublime moment of suspension, of complete isolation in a place between two worlds. We can live here but not for very long. The sea lets us enter but it might not let us leave.” - NARELLE AUTIO