Agua Nacida: Water Born

by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday October 15, 2014

Man's relationship with the sea is a theme that many artists have explored, but rarely has a photographer captured the weightless peace and silence of being underwater as Hugh Arnold does in "Agua Nacida," a luxurious 368-page book of fine art photography.

Arnold, a world-renowned photographer, was trained as an actor before the landscapes of Australia enticed him to explore images. He was quickly offered a contract by Australian Vogue and went on to work commercially for Conde Nast Traveler, Harpers, Glamour, L'Oreal, Pantene, Wella, Max Factor and many more.

Once again natural beauty inspired him toward a change. This time it was the Balearic island of Ibiza, a retreat legendary for the healing properties of its water.

By using human models within the context of nature Arnold is able to express larger mythology: Woman's emergence from the comfort of the womb into a natural world of sexual discovery, as well as the maternal aspects of the vast ocean.

Gossamer fabrics flutter, aquatic bubbles dance and shimmering, filtered light reflects against flesh in these vividly colored and deeply textural images of womanhood and water.

"Doing the shoots with Hugh stripped me of all role-playing and the ego that usually comes with modeling," says subject and swimmer Polina Barbasova in this book. "I was able to express myself in a completely free and honest way."

She and her contemporary, Nika Lauriatis, went on a journey with Arnold to Australia, Fiji and Gozo, an island off Malta, to develop this beautifully bound, hardcover edition with thick pages full of luscious color and black & white photographs.

"There is a peace and harmony within all of us if we are brave enough to explore," says Stella Thomas, Founder & President of Global Water Fund in her forward. And the nudes in this book do just that, as they become one with the fish and the coral. Gossamer fabrics flutter, aquatic bubbles dance and shimmering, filtered light reflects against flesh in these vividly colored and deeply textural images of womanhood and water.


"Agua Nacida"
By Hugh Arnold with a forward by Stella Thomas, Founder and President of the Global Water Fund
Merrell Publishers
For more information and to order