Diving Into Photographic Water with Matthew Coleman

Water has always had a swirling presence in photographer Matthew Coleman’s life. From his childhood days spent on the south coast of England to now, standing in LiTE-HAUS Galerie’s bathroom, in Neukölln, photographing Julia Sabrowski in the bathtub of water. The first time Matthew did a shoot like this he found the result too weird. Now, a couple of years later, capturing the interaction between his subject and water has become one of his biggest fascinations.

“It’s my element”, he says and continues: “It emerges, in an instant, is giving form by perception, a momentary dance, a union between two separate elements coming together into a single oneness. Pulsating, flickering, fleeting, as if they were tiny quantum particles appearing and disappearing on the cosmos of water. All one has to do is to place a person within it and see it swirl around them, like paint, with each gesture of water as a kind of brushstroke of the beatific”.

Julia gracefully poses in the water while Matthew’s moving around her with a light in one hand and a camera in the other. The rhythm of his shutter and the sound of the water is filling the room. Sometimes he stops to see if she’s ok, make a joke or just talk a bit, but mostly he shoots. It seems to be a spontaneous process.

“Which one should we use?”, Matthew asks Julia while holding up three pieces of fabric in different colours. They decide on the white one. Julia hides parts of her body with it and just like that they’ve changed the whole set. “I work very much from intuition, trying not to think, but instead to feel”, Matthew explains.