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Paintings of the feeling of the sea

For Nina looking at light in water makes time stop. It is that place where time becomes fluid, where a moment can be an eternity or hours of the day could disappear as if the tidal waves have claimed them, sending them further than the eye can see. I cannot think of better way for the hours to go unnoticed by watching the sun on and in the sea.

More context about this body of work

With these paintings and cyanotypes Nina is conveying her feeling of being submerged in the sea and our effect on the ecology of it. They are her observation of light through water in its many forms, of the emotional connection and sensations of the mercurial mutability of water. For her, being in the sea is to feel part of nature, becoming more in tune with her own intuition and body. The ancient Icelandic word for intuition is InnSaei. It also means “the sea within” which is the borderless nature of our inner world, feelings and imagination beyond words. Her work becomes internal, noticing the symmetry of the inside the body such as connective tissue (fascia) with forms found in the rest of nature. Nina’s earliest vivid memories are of being mesmerised by watching light moving through water. She has been pointing her camera at light in water and swimming in it since she came to live in Brighton over 20 years ago. In this time, she studied Painting at the University of Brighton, her MA at the RCA in London. She worked as a holistic and sports massage therapist where she learnt in depth about anatomy & physiology and observed how emotions and stress are directly linked to physical trauma in the body.

Our relationship with the sea is an important one. It is heart-breaking to watch the damage being done and to its inhabitants. The coral reefs are being decimated by temperature rises and the delicate ecology of the sea being destabilised on every level with overuse. In an article Enric Sala a conservationist and Explorer-in-Residence with the National Geographic, sets out his goals to help protect critical marine ecosystems worldwide, and to develop new business models for marine conservation. "Feeling some elation of this glimmer of hope, there is something that strikes me in the interview and it is quite simple ... we can change this is if we become emotionally invested in the sea, that we really feel the plight". We can see what is happening to our environment on the land with the naked eye and feel the presence of the increasingly worrying weather changes but unless we delve beneath the surface of the sea or choose to watch or read information about the marine ecosystem, we can be oblivious to the devastation being wrought. 

There is a real chance that with the constant and valiant efforts of people and organisations such as Enric Sala & Pristine Seas to try to secure 30% of non-fished, non-dumping and non-tourism areas of the sea to create national parks by 2030 so that life and balance can be restored to the seas, everyone can make their livings and the sea can absorb our carbon. 

For more information on Enric Sala and National Geographic

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