emotional experiences at the sea's edge

«In the sandy beaches, in the rocks, in the waves, in the algae that illustrate this book, we see Stieglitz’s “equivalents", Minor White’s “for what else they are” or the “more than a rock” of Edward Weston. What we see reflected in these images is not the sea, but rather the idea and the feeling that the sea awakens in each of us. Each and every element portrayed by Isabel become gateways to a parallel dimension, that is very personal but to which we are invited, where we can discover the sea of our dreams»

From the foreword by Rafael Rojas

Photographs and texts: Isabel Díez
Foreword: Rafael Rojas
Publishing: Ediciones Berenbolli
Graphic Design Layout: Isabel Díez
English text translation: Deborah Powell
           The dreamlike essence of water
           The plasticity of rocks
           The ephemeral art of sand
           Brushstrokes  and colour of seaweeds
           Some dwellers
Size: 30 x 23,5 cm
Pages: 184
Photographs: 133
Paper: Artic Volume White 170 gr.  FSC® and  PEFC Certificates.
Bounding: Hardcover
Printing: Estudios Durero, España
Copies: 600
ISBN: 978-84-09-26680-7
Languages: English, Spanish (bilingual)


This project was born from my need to create a personal world through the art of photography. For that purpose I searched for the raw material on the seashore. My subjects were the water, rocks, sand, algae and some of the dwellers be found there. However, it was not so much be about them and reproducing their physical appearance, but rather the world of feelings and emotions that could be built around them.

The body of this work mainly consists of intimate landscapes and details where I combine abstract and figurative aspects. The images evoke features such as mystery, simplicity, naivety, harmony, peace, dynamism, beauty, chromaticism, plasticity or clarity. The 133 photographs in the book are distributed over 184 pages and in 5 chapters, each one dedicated to the sensations that the 5 protagonists of this peculiar world convey to me. Every detail of the book, its design, the paper and the printing quality, have been addressed as part of the creative process. The book itself is a poetic object to me.

The photographs were taken along the Spanish Atlantic coast. The proximity of the places has been important, both from the emotional and logistic perspectives. Time and a strong emotional tie is needed in order to familiarise yourself with the landscape, embrace it and develop an idea in detail. Many of this book’s photographs remained hidden from myself until well into the project. In order  to reach the necessary receptive mental state and see them, I have needed to listen to the waves and rain, smell the algae, feel the buffeting of the wind, see the stars in the sky and to wake up in the sweet morning light.


".......... Yet it is the combination of its fluidity and its optical properties that makes water the subject matter of my dreams. Unlike the book’s other subjects, where I started from a vague mental sketch of the aesthetical qualities that I wished to depict, I allowed myself to “go with the flow” when it came to water. This chapter therefore ranges from figurative to abstract photographs where references to reality are very diluted or non-existent ......"


".......The silky texture of the water and its light accentuate the characteristics of the rocks by creating a twofold relationship in the scene. Harmony between opposites is part of the very existence. The static fuses with the dynamic, the rigid with the soft, colours are enhanced by the lack of colour. Those contrasts magnify the expressiveness of the scene and intensify the tactile sensations. Yet the water also heightens the mysterious aspect of some rocks as it isolates and envelops them in an ethereal setting ......."


".......... the ephemeral has a temporary scale of existence that is difficult to digest in the case of those people who do not want things to change. Think of all the photographs I have lost due to the slowness of my camera or of my reflexes! How I would have liked the waves to have passed over the sand without erasing its marvellous creations. I could have tried to take the same photo over and over again until it was perfect. But at the end of the day, I would only have one photo and I would also not have discovered how beautiful and valuable things become due to their brief existence........"


"....I have painted in oils since I was a child and I experience colours as one of the most amazing expressions of the physical world. Seaweeds offer me violets, blues, reds, pinks, yellows, greens and all their possible hues. And in the same way that there is a great variety of types of paintbrush for different lines, I have the different shapes of their bodies to generate different brushstrokes ....... The colours can thus be spread with soft, subtle, free, vigorous, translucent, impasto or juxtaposed brushstrokes, awakening very different sensations and emotions"....


.............Sea urchins, with their globular outer skeleton covered with spikes and their broad colour palette, are other dwellers that easily catch one’s attention. However, photographing them has not been easy. Part of their survival strategy is to hide covered by mollusc shells, stones or pieces of seaweed that, from the aesthetical point of view, ruined my compositions. The minimalist approach of my photography has allowed me to highlight the strangeness of its body structure. I also sought to combine two individuals of different colours to increase the expressive strength on the image. The photograph ends up being naïve and makes me smile. Its simplicity comforts me............


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