Dance for the Sea: Robin Conway's Artist Statement

Robin Conway’s art practice explores the human condition in a state of suspension and stillness, a detachment from the every day through his fascination with water and in the way shape, form, and time exists suspended in the present moment. With the heart beating faster and the body pulsating, Robin Conway’s subjects are caught literally mid breath, confronting the viewer with the ephemeral and ethereal nature of time.

As an underwater photographer with over 17 years experience, working primarily in pools or tanks with guaranteed warmth, clarity and stillness, Conway has been able to explore his other fascination;  ballet dancers. In an investigation of the temporality of time and an exploration of the limits of the body in an unfamiliar environment , throughout  the last 10 years Conway has accumulated a body of work containing a number of the worlds leading ballet dancers who have had the privileged unique experience of the link between two worlds of the spaces above and the spaces below the water’s surface.

Conway’s commitment in supporting the marine environment has been realised in this opportunity to collaborate with one of the aforementioned ballet dancers, Fernando Montano, soloist with the Royal Ballet.   In Dance For the Sea. Montano is caught within a personal suspension of consciousness and physicality. Without breath, yet filled with natural poise and grace, the illusion is set as the viewer is lulled into the familiar only to realise that the environment in which the subject is momentarily suspended is in fact polluted. 

Plastic has impacted on our ecosystem and has sadly now been found in locations around the world, previously untouched by human. Through a unique way of increasing public awareness of the negative impact globally Plastic is having on the planet, a set of 10 prints are installed at the bottom of the swimming pool. The viewer / swimmer has the opportunity to directly engage and experience the work, ‘without breath’ and an opportunity to recognise the absolute necessity to support marine conservation or face a future in which the only clarity they will witness in water will be found in the built environment of the local swimming pool.

Robin Conway would like to thank Better/ Prince Of Wales Sports Centre, the London Borough of Camden and The Marine Conservation Society ocean outdoors for their support in realising this exhibition and to Fernando Montano for his willingness to dance ‘between two worlds’ in the pursuit of his passion in Marine Conservation.

Dance For The Sea is an underwater art exhibition co-produced by First Soloist of the Royal Ballet Company, Fernando Montaño, and underwater photographer, Robin Conway and will take place at Kentish Town Sports Centre 22 – 28 July 2019. Read more about it here!