Patricia Ridenour


Artist Statement for Surface


Women's synchronized swimming is one of the most difficult sports. They have to appear at ease, no heavy breathing, smiles, while holding their breathe for long durations underwater, as they push their bodies to the limit. It is important for the viewer to know that these photographs are not digital manipulations. They are underwater documentation of athletic stamina and excellence.

The title Surface reflects the contrast of ease and grace above the surface of the water while underneath the waters surface is dramatic effort. Watching them underwater thru my cameras lens I experienced cathartic journeys, combative moments, strong female collaboration, and intense narratives. Above all I felt the strength of women working together toward common goals, including me as I held my breath as they held theirs.

Surface won a first place award from the International Photography Awards in 2010, and is featured in their award winner’s book.

William Hunt curated an exhibition titled Equivalents that included two from this series in August 2012 at The Photo Center NW.

Surface received a grant from Artist Trust in 2011.

An image from Surface was selected to be part of a 4 Culture grant with Metro and The Photo Center NW.

A video has been made on Patricia Ridenour's process where she discusses the series Surface. The video was a thesis project by a University of Washington student. Here is a link to view the video

Surface has been published as a Blurb book and can be viewed and purchased at this link;


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