One Breath

Denise Batchelor (NZ)
Whitecliffe College of Art and Design, Auckland.

For thousands of years, freedivers have gathered food, harvested resources, and reclaimed things lost to the deep. The ongoing video project One Breath will begin at Deep Anatomy, exploring various branches of this contemporary community today and engaging with free-diving as a competitive, commercial, and recreational pursuit that crosses various cultures worldwide. Inspired by her brother’s forty plus years as a free-diving paua (abalone) fisherman, Batchelor juxtaposes ‘still-framed’ video imagery with recordings of oral stories and oceanic sounds, evoking a deep sense of connection to breath and rhythm. One Breath examines the physical, psychological, and perhaps even metaphysical associations with the discipline of free-diving.Upon returning to New Zealand, Batchelor will relate this story to the story of a NZ diver who has dived the North Island’s Wairarapa coast for over 40 years.

One Breath

 Denise Batchelor is an award-winning artist with vast experience filming the natural world, including the breathing rhythms of various marine and land-based animalia. A graduate of Whitecliffe College of Art and Design (Auckland, NZ), Batchelor has exhibited her videography and photography internationally and across New Zealand, most recently for The Performance Arcade 2015. She was the 2013 Auckland Regional Parks Artist-In-Residence, and is currently exhibiting video work at the Dowse Museum in Wellington, NZ. Her work is also in various private and public collections, including the Wallace Arts Trust.

A part of the programme for Deep Anatomy – a regional cluster for Performance Studies International #21 globally dispersed conference on Long Island, The Bahamas, April 26-May10, 2015.

28/04/2015: Observing a free-diver’s last intake of breath before they turn and descend into Dean’s Blue Hole, I’m overcome by a feeling of vulnerability as they disappear into the darkness. In contrast, the whiteness of the shallows evokes a lightness of being in which light, sound and motion converge. 

2/5/2015: Photographs from Act 1 of Vertical Blue of athletes preparing for their dives, returning to the surface, and relaxing afterwards. Features: Rob King (USA), Tomoka Fukuda (Japan), William Trubridge (NZ), and Ryuzo Shinomiya (Japan).

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8/05/2015:Light on lagoon sand, filmed at Diamond Crystal Salt Farms. Projected on the cliffs of Dean’s Blue after Sam and William Trubridge’s talk. 



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