In The Deep

PhotographerPauline Gola
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

Please see my "Deeper Perspective" statement.


“The wound is the place where the Light enters you." ~ Rumi IN THE DEEP examines the effect of trauma on the psyche, and the path to overcome obstacles that stand in the way of inner peace. The series is a synthesis of my own revelation of renewal and grief, balanced by the grace and magic of the figure and light underwater. Somewhere in the gray area – the ambiguity between darkness and aesthetic joy, the fear of truth and the light of acceptance, the representational nature of the photograph and the imaginary qualities of the liquid world – I'm seeking visual dissonance to express the wild dance between mind, body and soul as we grow through our wounds of the past. In living through adversity we feel pain, but in the end we are primed to more deeply feel the true redemption of peace and happiness; it's with this sentiment that I explore my truth. The personal language I've found in this series is built from scenes I create in the aquatic environment - the backdrop of my childhood as a competitive swimmer - and is influenced by expressionism of the early 20th century, including the emotive works of Edvard Munch and Kathe Kollwitz. I use underwater lighting techniques combined with bubbles, movement, gesture and reflections to embellish the figure. These liquid aberrations, beneath the surface, reveal what it might look like if our internal battles were visibly revealed and the light at the end of the tunnel was known. I hope that in sharing these small moments, others may also find solace in their own experience, knowing that just as darkness begets dawn, courage in embracing our struggles gives us the gift to empathize, to heal, and to live deeply with open hearts.