I did this drawing working from a photograph by a Minnesotan photographer I admire very much named Rhea Pappas. A few years ago she had a show called Beneath The Surface at Ice Box Gallery in Minneapolis – large scale photos of women underwater. Although I couldn’t afford to buy one of the photos, I have a postcard of one of my favorites that I’ve kept on my bulletin board ever since.
There is something about being suspended underwater that appeals to a lot of us. Perhaps it is best summed up by that very famous scene in The Graduate, when Dustin Hoffman sinks to the bottom of the pool just to hang for awhile and escape the pressure of the adult world. When you’re underwater, you’re in a liminal space, neither here nor there. It’s an in-between state and it can be a welcome respite, a chance to hit the reset button.
But it’s also a way, for just as long as you can hold your breath, to get lost.