From Coleridge’s ‘Water, water, everywhere’ to The Who’s Water, to Monet, water is a well-plundered fount of inspiration for artists, poets and musicians alike.
John Rose has taken it upon himself to follow in these hallowed footsteps, with his photography series Water MMXI. ‘Water is the most basic necessities for life, and sustains us both biologically and spiritually,’ he says.
‘It also possesses fascinating qualities; falling through one’s fingers, and holding up the largest of oil tankers; reflecting the location, and allowing elemental inputs to alter the picture; it’s easily split up, but will always find a level and return to itself.’
The works build upon the forces of nature and the seasons, and their ability to dramatically shift the appearance of water. Depending on the weather, water can take on innumerable colours, textures and patterns – something exploited by Rose throughout his photography.
Rose’s photographic technique is described as ‘opportunistic’, rejecting staging and digital manipulation in favour of an instantaneous approach. Through this, Rose aims to capture a moment in its purest, ‘untouched’ format; reflecting the idea of transience for which his water images provide a visual metaphor.
Rose says, ‘Without the crutch of recognisable surroundings the images in Water MMXI become about reality reflected through nature’s mirrored lens. Water in landscape photography plays second fiddle, and I was drawn more and more to how the water was influencing the reflected location.’
John Rose: Water MMXI is showing at Gallery 27, Cork Street, London W1 until 16 July