Swan Dive is a summer series shot mostly around Portland, Oregon. Initially inspired by Waxahatchee lyrics from the album Creulean Salt, ”and you’ll quit having dreams about a swan dive to the hard asphalt” it quickly evolved into an exploration of modern solitude. The images are notably not carefree, despite open arms and vast landscapes, the subjects appear naked beyond missing pieces of clothes – there is an inherent tension between the kids and their surroundings. While technology is not directly referenced, the absence of it is unavoidable, as solitude has taken on a new meaning in our day in age. Faces are hidden in shadow or hair; distorted by water, the figures are both anonymous and individualized. Subjects are shot mostly from above or below, engendering a movement of rising and falling, like our breathing or the sea // swan dives into water or concrete.
On a more technical level the form itself is also a reflection of the content: the use of 120mm color and black and white film is a break from our devotion to digital photography. Although it may seem like a dark depiction of young adulthood, it was inspired by the most life affirming things: summer storms; making love in a yellow painted bedroom surrounded by silent strikes of lighting and gold clouds, lavender fields framed by car windows, waking up before dawn to watch the sun rise at the base of a mountain, impressionist paintings, favorite songs, swimming naked, friends, fashion and fireworks. Swan Dive strives to capture what it means to be young, alive and alone in the 21st century; an existence that is beautiful, moving and crushing all at once.
Post by Lauren Field, laurenfield.co