The Swimmers, 2017, a series of photographs by Emma Hartvig.
Hartvig explores the performances of synchronised swimmers in a way which feels different from the traditional image of these athletes. Nose plugs, excessive amounts of waterproof make up and bizarre facial expressions (Google synchronised swimmers right now and you’ll see what I mean) often distract from the sport itself, and the athletic ability of these women. Hartvig’s photographs are sleek and clean, depicting synchronised swimmers who are focused on their sport rather than putting on a show for the judges.
The Swimmers swim in synchronisation: their limbs reflect one another’s; pointing in opposite directions yet maintaining identical forms. Their bodies are streamlined in matching white swimsuits, topped with caps reminiscent of times gone by. The swimmers put on a show for the spectators, flexing their arms and legs, creating a whole being from individuals.
Then the viewer delves beneath the surface and witnesses the silent moments of concentration, when the breath is held and the light pierces the membrane of the water, creating rippled patterns on the bottom of the pool. The bodies contort themselves effortlessly without the constraints of gravity, yet every muscle has to be controlled to hold the position. They are simultaneously elegant and athletic, free and restricted, floating and sinking.
More of Hartvig’s work can be found on her website, http://emmahartvig.com/. These images were taken from : https://www.ignant.com/2017/09/26/emma-hartvig-captures-synchronised-swimmers/.