Ever dreamed that you’re drowning just to wake up and realise at the last moment it was nothing but a nightmare? Barbara Cole's models too are submerged deep beneath the surface but the images they inhabit are far from dreadful. Her deft use of perspective, usually shooting from above, flattening her image, and the rippled blur of the water allow her to create semi picturesque photos that resemble at times a Rothko abstraction more than photography. The girls broken contour enhances the surreal effect and creates the illusion that Cole is featuring mermaids or koi fish rather than humans.
I find myself drawn to the celestial weightlessness the aquatic environment adds, in which the models can float detached from time and circumstance. The colourful garments are set to drift, and together with the light, another staple element of Cole's work, create captivating, broken kaleidoscope like shapes.
Images courtesy of Barbara Cole.
Posted by Tuli Litvak