If you’re an aficionado of underwater photography and you happen to be in Scotland in the next four months, you may want to check out the J.D. Ferguson Gallery in Edinburgh.

Underwater photographer Janeanne Gilchrist has organized a solo show of her current work in pictures at the Ferguson gallery from November 18th, 2017 through March 24th, 2018.

Born and brought up in Edinburgh, Gilchrist graduated from Napier University in 1996 with a BA (Honours) in photography and film.

The “Sea and the Self” exhibition showcases Gilchrist’s images of undersea objects like a tangled fishing net, spawning seaweed, a jellyfish, a decomposing plastic bag and other subjects.

The photos on display are meant to raise the debate further about the state of Scotland’s waterways and beyond, she says:

“What we’re doing — cleaning up our own mess — addresses just a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.”

Her work explores subconscious emotional memories, otherworldly fables and folklore. It also features found items that had a place, a function, a use, in one world, which are now abandoned adrift and discarded in another world in which they take on an ethereal distorted temporal beauty, dissolving and breaking down into the aquatic environment.

'Semantic Memory' (photo credit: Janeanne Gilchrist)
‘Semantic Memory’ (photo credit: Janeanne Gilchrist)

Having learned to scuba dive in Egypt off the Sinai peninsula, Gilchrist has moved on from bulky drysuits required for diving the chilly Scottish waters to freediving.

“To free dive is the most amazing sensation. Mastering your fear and hanging silently suspended in the blue/green of the sea, in gin- clear water, in glass-like conditions, is a spiritual experience.”

When not underwater, Gilchrist works in partnership with her partner Will Beeslaar running Staunch Industries Design, a small, independent design studio and lifestyle brand based in Leith Edinburgh.

Check out more of her photos at janeannegilchristartist.com.

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