I have looked into Jill Greenberg’s work before for a previous assignment; however I have never looked into or discussed this particular work. However I find it fascinating, not only are the picture striking and interesting, but they also carry a message. It is not uncommon for Greenberg to share her feelings and options through her work.

This work is inspired by a commission that Greenberg got in 2008 which featured Olympic swimmers underwater. These images also show women underwater. However, these women’s professions are athletes and dancers and so they are dressed for work. While underwater, the models ‘attempt to perform and pose but the water knocks them into awkward positions. They wear high heels to be “sexy” in this performance, yet this is absurd, it hinders their movement and amplified their lack of control’. The whole shoot is a metaphor of their world and lives, they adjust their swimsuits, shoes and gasp for air.

To me the images are gorgeous, the women almost look like Barbie dolls, and they’re so perfect. The water is such an intense blue and the colours reflecting on the water above from the light mixes in with the deep blue, it’s relaxing to look at with all the texture from the ripples in the water. The colours of everything are capturing, the light, the blue, the swimsuits, their hair and the heels. The intensity of the colours is mesmerizing.

Something I love most is the reflections and the bubbles. The bubbles show me the models are underwater, they create a sense of realism out of a fairly surreal image. The reflections are something I’ve never seen before. I’ve only ever seen a reflection from above the water, a person looks in and see’s their reflection in the water. In Jill Greenberg’s work, the viewer can see the person underwater and their reflection outside. It’s a complete role reversal.

The light makes the image. If the day was dull, the colours would be less intense, the blue would be grey and the beams of light shining through wouldn’t be there. These images literally couldn’t be created without the lights used.

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