Bringing life under the sea to the surface in new Perth exhibition

Artist and diver Janeanne Gilchrist is sharing images from the mysterious underwater world in her first solo exhibition.

The sea and the self are territories Janeanne explores and merges seductively in Above, Below, Beyond, an exhibition of intricately composed and infinitely ambiguous sub-aquatic images.

The exhibition takes place at Perth’s Fergusson Gallery from this Saturday (November 18), until March 2018.

Janeanne’s is a submerged world of spectral floating objects and mysterious seascapes, each seeking meaning and calling on us to find our own. Free diving off the unpredictable coasts of Scotland, one breath at a time, Janeanne’s physical and creative element is sea water.

Anthropomorphism is one image from Above, Below, Beyond by Janeanne Gilchrist

She forages for objects in the depths -a tangle of fishing net, a singed seaman’s sou’wester, discarded fish gut, a decomposing plastic bag – the thoughtlessly discarded cast-offs of fishermen and of man. She searches out subjects – the spawning seaweed, the mesmerizing alien glow of a jellyfish, the stone washed bones of a migratory bird.

Temperature, tide, time of year, weather, lunar cycles the unpredictable moods of the sea combine to create the elusive shape, the temporary touch and the momentary light, that create the sea-change she desires.

There is a natural fear and otherworldliness which is present in every image.

Empty, by Janeanne Gilchrist, will be on show at Perth’s Fergusson Gallery

Janeanne also constructs balance capturing a sense of illusion and visual trickery common when below the surface.

Shot alone out in the sea in the period after her mother’s death, the photographs in Above, Below, Beyond are also infused with submerged grief and evasive, finely textured feeling: the ghostly vulnerability of objects and clothing, carrying the disintegrating memories of their former purpose.

Janeanne is a photographic artist and image-maker. She was born and brought up in Edinburgh and graduated from Napier University in 1996 with a BA (Honours) in photography and film.

Structuralism, by Janeanne Gilchrist

This is her first solo exhibition following Retina Scottish International Photography festival in 2015 for which she won the 2016 JD Fergusson Arts Award.

The Fergusson Gallery holds the world’s largest collection of artwork by the renowned Scottish Colourist JD Fergusson. The Gallery also holds an associated archive, along with the archive of his lifelong companion, the pioneer of modern dance, Margaret Morris.

J D Fergusson was one of the most important and influential artists in Britain in the first half of the 20th century. Born in Edinburgh, with ancestral links to Perthshire, he spent much of his career in France and is now most associated with Scottish Colourist group.