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Holding breath. A rushing silence.
The cool pressure of being completely submerged.
Going under, looking forward, emerging.
A fluid dip into the forever state of the sublime.
The Diver is the second in a series of screen prints by photographer & printmaker Rebecca Cleal. The Water Series, which began with English Channel, focuses on this one essential rudiment and explores the deep significance and sublime presence it has in our lives.
Originally scheduled for release in the spring, Rebecca put the edition in stasis while the world around us was turned upside down. Just as time inevitably brings new perspective, so this stasis was no bad thing for the print—while these last months have given us all great cause for pause, there is now something altogether more sanguine and relatable about The Diver's journey beneath the water.
Prior to The Water Series, Rebecca spent over three years in the studio, steadily finessing techniques for separating and reproducing her photography in the screen print medium. Each of the many unshown prints that comprises that work were necessary steps toward creating English Channel and The Diver, both of which are unlike any photographic reproduction you're likely to find.
Far from flat, these screen prints are comprised of eight translucent blacks, layered in such a way that the final resultant black is exceptionally deep and absolute. The layers of shadow that chart the way to this final black, both light and dark, interact with one another in all directions, including along that ellusive Z axis, which draws the viewer's eye to deep within the print. The finishing touch is a crucial ninth layer—a lustrous varnish—which further contrasts and deepens the darkest tones.
Does this print reach out toward you or suck you in? Perhaps a little of both.
We're very excited to publish and finally release this new screen print edition. It's a special piece of work, and one of those prints to which photographs on the internet simply cannot do justice.
The Diver is a nine layer screen print edition, strictly limited to 25. All prints are numbered, signed, and stamped by the artist, as well as White Duck blind embossed and gallery stamped for authenticity.