Doride, call of the sea (2002) /
Photograph by Elspeth Diederix; diver, Snorre How. Image courtesy of Galerie Van Gelder, Amsterdam.

“DORIDE is a character who is viewing herself in her own imaginary world. The underwater world is like the world where dreams or art live. It’s not clear whether the character wants to be there or not, or whether she’s going under or floating up. I wanted to leave it open.

“This photograph was taken in the Red Sea; I chose the location for the intensity of the blue. Each sea is a different colour – some are more green, some are more purple. You can’t really see it from above; you have to be inside it.

“To shoot under water, I work with a team. I set up the shot and then I enter the frame. Someone needs to give the models air. In this picture, the plant is actually an actor in costume. Each shoot is unpredictable; we can never be fully prepared for the current. Strange fish come to nibble on me – I kick at them to protect myself. The fish love to explore. Whatever strange objects I bring down they try to bite.

“Even though photographers are influenced by fashion, my work has nothing to do with commercial photography. Advertising offers us a notion of joy, but the only way to attain it is through buying. Western culture has a fairly good under-standing of drama and tragedy, but we haven’t really developed a concept of joy that isn’t related to something you can consume. My work is concerned with fun, humour, dreams, and joy, but not with the material. Being under water is an escape from the materialism of our reality.”

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