Water, much like the galaxy, holds sway over humans. It captivates us with its mysteries and strange properties. It allows us to see the world through transformed eyes-undulled by everyday surroundings.

Photographer Mallory Morrison made a natural progression from dance to dance photography and then to photographing dancers underwater. The result is magical, serenely beautiful and often unexpected. 


”Pull” Limited Edition Print 1 of 25 28”x39” framed. 

Becoming fascinated with not only the forms possible underwater, but by the process itself, Ms. Morrison has continuously evolved her technique, collaborating with other artists at times and editing in photoshop to create the final vision. Although her subjects often seem suspended in air or deep within the ocean depths, all of her shots take place in pools mostly of the California backyard variety. 

Usually starting out with a concept, she allows herself to be surprised by what turns up in the editing process. Often, the vision looks one way underwater, yet unexpected nuances make themselves known in post processing.  

In speaking with Morrison about her work, she told me about a photo of hers she was inexplicably drawn to. Its an example of how the form, the movement, the process of shooting the subject resulted in an unexpected emotion. This particular image was capatured unplanned in a moment as the model was about to emerge from the pool.  “I named the image ‘Stay’ because its this in-between movement…getting to this 5-6 o’clock hour…knowing that you have to get out but knowing this is an environment we can’t stay in…not ready to let go yet” Morrison expounds. 


Stay’ available in limited edition print through ArtCapitol

It is this delicate balance between ambiguity and form, the certainty of the technical and impreciseness of emotion which makes Morrison’s work so captivating. 

Exhibiting through June 4th at hale ARTS SPACE in Santa Monica,  Morrison’s underwater series is available at the gallery in limited edition prints, excepting ‘Stay’. 

From her artist statement: “Her use of dancers in an underwater environment allows Mallory to challenge the boundaries of people photography-utilizing weightlessness to tell stories, which explore the depths of movement and composition. Her underwater series…explores the interaction between a woman and the water’s surface. It is a dream-like journey through the confusion of the water and bubbles to find the surface where she can feel comfort in breath.” 


”Adrift” Limited edition print 14”x22” framed 

haleARTS SPACE, founded and helmed by Michael Hale; himself an artist inspired by 1950’s prints, is a small, intimate two-story space in off trendy Main Street in Santa Monica-a beachside city with a strong devotion to the arts.

The works are contemporary with leanings towards mid-century design, abstract and pop art. Also worth seeing at the gallery is the work of sculptor Hadiya Finley, whose tiny bronze sculptures-women set afloat in driftwood canoes and chaise lounges…haunting little bodies are soul stirring. Her small exhibit is on the second floor of the gallery. 

The Mallory Morrison exhibit is presented by Fabrik, a quaterly journal dedicated to emerging artists, design and art in Los Angeles. 



Mallory Morrison:


PHOTO CREDITS: All photos are attributed to the haleARTS Space, except for stay which is courtesy of ArtCapitol.


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