Jolene Monheim - Fine Art Photography
Photography has been a love for years. Jolene Monheim has been looking at the world through a view finder, with or without a camera in hand, for as long as she can remember. Harmonic relationships of line, form, color and light are what draw her visually. Another strong theme of her life is collaboration. She began photographing dancers underwater in February of 2005. The watery environment is unpredictable and the sessions just naturally turn into “happenings.” The models are invited to bring whatever clothing they want and she provides lengths of sheer colorful fabrics. Neither she nor the models know what direction the shooting will take, but when an idea is born, the session naturally takes shape and starts to flow. The entirety of the sessions are improvisional, and the physical demands of being underwater, being comfortable without a script, and being aware of the different angles the photographer needs to capture the play of light is no small feat. An intuitive communication unfolds. The dancers’ individual and unique physical language becomes more apparent under water, and start to take on archetypical qualities. In many ways the underwater environment is hostile and frightening, but at the same time provides an exceptional level of support, and freedom of movement expression not found on terra firma.
When more than one dancer is present, the interaction between them is magical, and aspects of their relationship, such as playmate, muse, attendant, etc., change from one moment to the next. The chiaroscuro, the light and dark contours described by light flowing over the models bodies, faces and fabric, is dramatically enhanced by the filtering of light through water and its natural sediment. A future project is in the making of an underwater photography exhibit at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in May of 2007, called “Swimming in the Ocean of Becoming.”
Copyright © Jolene Monheim. All images are protected by international copyright laws.