"The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat." Jacques Yves Cousteau
Water has many identities. Gently rippling lakes freeze into ice ponds that will begin to crack and splinter when the sun's warmth coaxes the frozen mass back into liquid form. It can softly simmer and boil ferociously, eventually leaving none of its former self behind as it makes its steamy ascent towards the heavens, blocking out the aforementioned sun in its new guise as gauzy clouds.
As beautiful as it is deadly; as constant and reliable as it is unpredictable and transient. It is elemental, yet complicated. Both friend and foe, neither ally nor enemy exclusively. In abundance it floods and destroys, in scarcity it ravages and brings us to our knees.
It has inspired many a poem, painting, piece of music; but why? Is it because water is our main component, coursing through our bodies, sustaining us and powering the physiology that allows these works to be created by the human hand? Is it because we realise we are neither its master nor its slave thus seek to reconcile the hierarchy taking ownership of this powerful element by capturing it in artistic mediums? Perhaps it is purely because water has been responsible for some of the greatest wonders in the natural world, by far more beautiful and beyond the realms of anything manmade. Thus water becomes our challenge, our raison d'être as evolved beings. If one can harness water as a subject, show it due respect and justify the hubris with an end result worthy of the undertaking, have we transcended the natural order?
This dichotomy is the driving force behind Alex Echo's collection WATER. To the artist Water is both life and death light and shade. Its movement has long mesmerised him and inspires his ongoing opus. Yet conversely it also holds a primal fear for him, ever since a narrow escape from its depths in early childhood. And yet, is it not true humanity to be drawn towards that which renders us powerless, to seek answers in the unquestionable? and aim to conquer our fears by better understanding the root cause? Long has it been a source of inspiration, both from visual artists Monet to Turner and also by composers, such as Handel, Vivaldi and Debussy, such is its siren call.
'WATER' provides a visual journey that moves the viewer between heightened emotional states. Taking up the artistic mantle with aplomb, Echo harnesses the fluidity and élan of the world's most bountiful resource to flow between each piece, breathing life into the fluid narrative of this ever evolving collection.