Megan Terriss

This is a Love Story

Water is an ever-present non-negotiable part of life. It is critical for our bodily function; at a microscopic level its elements are required to carry out processes within our cells that keep us alive. Water is a vital component of a healthy ecosystem; it permeates every aspect of our being as an absolutely essential part of our continued existence.

Yet when I think of water, when I feel the need to be near it and when I am relieved by its familiarity, I don’t consider any of this. I have loved being near bodies of water for as long as I can remember and I know I am not alone in this. It is not the scientific properties or its objectness which brings people back again and again. It is not the thing that draws people in but its behaviour within a certain context. It is an experience of sound, movement, colour and involvement of almost every sense to create a fully immersive experience.

A traditional photo of the lake or an ocean would fail to encompass their context. This project seeks to recreate this experience through images, in an effort to represent a range of feelings that a body of water is capable of affecting. The images are made using multiple long exposures in a digital camera while the camera is floating on or near a body of water. In some instances the camera is floating directly in a body of water, in others it is floating in water near a body of water documenting the surroundings. The long exposures allow the camera to trace each movement of the water as the photo is being made, allowing the subject to be incorporated into the process.

Taisuke Koyama was a key inspiration for this process - an artist who created images about light using a digital scanner thereby incorporating his subject into the process itself. Koyama’s work was key in solidifying this idea of including the subject in the process. Koyama focused on his hand (in handling the scanner) in making the images as opposed to his eye resulting in abstract images.

This is a Love Story is meant to take the form of printed images, matted and framed. Part of the context that a body of water is enjoyed in, among other things, is its scale. It is expected that a body of water is bigger, more powerful than a single person.