Cultural constructions conflating the feminine and the ocean create narratives in which nature, and hence women, are domains over which power must be asserted. The motif of the drowned woman, particularly prevalent in the 19th century, asserts the redemptive powers of the ocean over "ruined" women, who regain their purity and attractiveness by throwing themselves into oceans or rivers.
Wearing dresses which help to submerge them, these images have become revitalised through the use of accessible underwater cameras. Fashion, social media and other platforms now foreground beautiful women against the sublime setting of the ocean.
This series of paintings investigated the traditional drowning narratives and sought to create images of women in the ocean, in a more ambiguous way. Based on my own experiences of ocean swimming, these women have no intention of sinking, and are, in fact, both at home and in collusion in the underwater world.