You find yourself lost at sea. You're surrounded by loving faces and helping hands but your eyes don’t reach your heart. You feel yourself adrift in a slow-tide of introspection and self-isolation, a loneliness that pulls you in and pushes you out with the tides of your liquid life. Yes, it is a feeling as old as water itself.
In the wavering calm after the storm, life imitates art and photographers Sissel Abel and Katrine Gøth lean into loneliness. The original boat chosen for this shoot in Copenhagen’s Ishøj Harbor was damaged by a fierce storm the day before. And in the wake of this great deluge, the earlier restlessness of the water has turned to calm, rolling depths. All energy is spent. Now is the time for reflection.
Striped blue towel. Blinding blue sky. Cardigans, trench coats, skin. Stylist Genevieve Sztuk sets the scene, mixing fabrics and textures, from fully-dressed button downs and chore coats to simple, water-dropped skin, playing perhaps with layers of vulnerability. Scratchy wool brushes against arms and soft cottons caress goose flesh. Models Jack Pedersen and Jonathan Hannibal lose themselves in thought as they move fluidly together from frame to frame. Leaning backs and bending bodies, long stretching limbs and searching hands. What can be found in the waters of life and the ebb and flow of vanishing boyhood?
They speak in their silence. The echo of the storm still in their eyes. Silence and solitude is captured in the slopes of their shoulders, turned away, and in the moments of tension and leaning. They show us a dive with no splash. A moment caught flying, and totally alone. The muteness of being underwater. As people, to feel lonely in a beautiful place, with beautiful company and in a beautiful body is still to feel lonely.
Hours pass, the sun tucks itself into bed. The boat is gone and sea waves hiss and recede.