Beneath the Waves Radio 4 documentary

Radio4

I’ve been making a programme for Radio 4 about artists who work underwater, which comes out on the 12th November.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00013nr

Artist Emma Critchley meets filmmakers, photographers, sculptors and painters who are drawn beneath the sea to create underwater art.

Julie Gautier performs a graceful, lyrical ballet on the floor of the deepest pool in the world. Without a tank of air or mask, she dances magically through crystal-clear waters across a sunken stage.

In the azure waters of the world, sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor uses the seabed as his canvas. He has installed hundreds of life-sized, concrete people on the sea floor. Fish weave through his couple playing on sea-saw, tourists taking photographs or migrants huddling in a raft. As Jason works towards the opening of his first cold water installation, Emma asks what draws him to the sea, the meaning of his work and how audiences can engage with underwater art.

She explores the unpredictability of working with the sea, hearing stories of storms, seasickness and near drowning.

Suzi Winstanley is petrified of the deep, but her passion for documenting wildlife has taken her to the remotest and coldest places in the world. With fellow artist Olly Williams, they collaborate to paint, lightning-fast, their experience of encountering white shark and leopard sea.

Emma braves the wintery British waters to talk concentration, boundaries and time with artist Peter Matthews who immerses himself in the ocean for hours, sometimes days, floating with his drawing board and paper.

Sunlight dances on the twisting fabrics of headless bodies in photographer Estabrak’s pictures. For her, working in Oman, underwater is the only safe space to tell stories.

For some the pull of the sea is political, for others environmental, but all the artists find extraordinary freedom in this huge untapped underwater world.

Producer: Sarah Bowen

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209 Women

209 Women End Card

Fantastic to be part of the 209 Women project, photographing Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West.

Marking 100 years since some women achieved the right to vote, Open Eye Gallery in collaboration with photographer Hilary Wood are replacing the entire contemporary art collection at the Palace of Westminster with new photos of every female MP, shot exclusively by female photographers, and making it free and open to the public.

On 14th December 1918 women voted for the first time, and in the same year the first female MP was elected. 100 years on, this project marks that significant moment in history, whilst also highlighting the ongoing need for gender equality across society.209 Women is a national artist-led project that aims to champion the visibility of women, particularly in male-dominated environments, and challenges issues surrounding gender inequality. The exhibition will hang in the Palace of Westminster from 14th December to February 2019.

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Raptures of the Deep: Freediving screening and panel discussion

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As part of the Life of Breath Project and the Being Human Festival…

Raptures of the Deep

Free-divers can seem like super humans. They have extraordinary, seemingly implausible, control over their bodies, particularly their breathing, and offer a fascinating insight into the connection between mind and body. A series of short films featuring record breakers including Johanna Nordblad and Guillaume Néry and our guest Liv Philip, will set the scene. Then we’ll discuss why the experience of losing the breath can both terrifying and exhilarating with champion freediver Liv Philip, artist Emma Critchley and researchers Rebecca Oxley and Arthur Rose.

23 November 2017, Durham

https://lifeofbreath.org/event/raptures-of-the-deep/

Tate St Ives: Film for Friday

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Over the next month Tate St Ives are showing a selection of my films that relate to themes drawn from Jessica Warboy’s work, particularly the large scale ‘Sea Paintings’.

Friday 11 August – Friday 1st September 2017

More information can be found on the Tate website: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-st-ives/film/film-friday