"Set your soul free dancing on the sea"
Photography & Editing: Moi
Model: Amy Weller
A few weeks ago I shared some of the unedited photos for a little project I was working on. Now, I can show you the final image that I couldn't be happier with. Amy is such a pro diving into that ocean on a crisp fall afternoon. Below is part of the artist statement I wrote to accompany the piece with a little insight into the theme of the project.
"For 19 years, I had known nothing more than one season: summer. I had seen snow once (when I turned 18) and the idea of “winter boots” made me laugh. I was a “Florida baby” who “grew up in the sand,” as my mother would say. Growing up in a small beach town on the Gulf Coast there was often one place I looked for refuge from “the real world,” otherwise known to a teenage girl as high school. The ocean was my sanctuary. Whether I needed to clear my thoughts, or inspire new ones, sitting on the sandy shores provided a peace I couldn’t find anywhere else. Diving deep beneath the waves offered a numbing silence to the chatter happening in my head.
I’ll always remember something my high school professor told us just weeks before graduation. “You go away to college to accomplish your dreams and to experience the world, and then you come home.” At the time, I thought he was absolutely crazy. I was moving to New York City–the “concrete jungle”–why would I want to go back to Florida? After moving to New York in 2010, the ocean was no longer a place where I could go to run away. The only silence I was able to find was within the four walls of my jail-sized dorm room.
Three years later, after the deaths of three family members, the walls of my apartment no longer seemed comforting, nor did the daily pace of New York City. I needed the ocean, and so I ran. Back to Florida–back to the ocean–back home. It was Isek Dinesen that said, “the cure for anything is salt water–sweat, tears or the ocean,” and I was taking his advice quite literally."