On land, our physical freedom is usually confined to only two of the three dimensions offered to us. Without wings or artificial tools, we’re grounded – only able to roam the plane of the Earth. But through her underwater photography, Finnish photographer Susanna Majuri is able to explore the third dimension.
Water suspends us and carries us; it provides a new freedom we’re often deprived of. In Majuri’s photos, girls dance in all directions beneath the water and through the air. Because Majuri designs the backgrounds herself, she is able to build exactly what inspires her – whether its freefalling above a mountain, lying tangled on the edge of a rushing stream, or drifting through the lulling autumn fields. The playful backgrounds and immersed flexibility create the unparalleled fluid motion in her photography.
Water itself serves as her muse. In an interview with GARAKAMI, Majuri explained that water is her medium of choice because it’s “sensual, turquoise, blue, transparent. It merges the people and landscape together. I paint with water.” Besides frozen rivers, waterfalls and windy landscapes, she’s inspired by songs about water and especially loves Riverside by Agnes Obel.
The haze and uncertainty in Majuri’s fluid scenes create the overall impression of an oil painting. When captured from above, the water refracts the lines of the submerged scenes, blurring the dimensions and adding a new depth to the world of otherwise unbroken photography.
Majuri hopes that, beyond appealing to the eyes, her photos will evoke the important quality of an emotional response. She composes her photos to penetrate our self-imposed emotional barriers, stirring up something deeper and calling us to participate in the scenery as if it were familiar. “The dwelling inside the image gives us freedom to take any given role in a picture,” Majuri resolves. She wants her viewers to get lost in the story she has created, just as they would in a good book or song.