The Sea and Me (2014)

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The Debut photographic exhibition from South Australian photographer, Che Chorley.


The series was shot over 18 months and constitutes 18 photographs, portraits of the ocean in many of her forms. Shot over 30 occasions all over the Fleurieu Peninsula and Indonesia. I chased particular lighting events and weather events to truly convey the tempers of the ocean. Perhaps thousands of photographs were cut down to the final series.

Predominantly shot at sea level, I try to convey the romance,fear, trepidation, beauty, and power of the sea and its relationship to the human psyche. I draw inspiration from the salty tales of Melville,Cousteau, Winton, or the authors of old, seafarers and mariners of shipwrecks, sea monsters and sea shanties. The fear of the unknown which even today is real for so many, yet an environment inwhichI find comfort and solace.I aim to give the viewer an insight into the world in which I'm so fortunate to experience on a regular basis.but onlyan insight, with many of the works I tease with only the smallest of movements. Whereas in other photographs I aim to overwhelm, to explore the sheer scale and power of the ocean,whereas others I invite the viewer into a warm comforting embrace of summer and salt, reminding the viewer of her ethereal beauty and fragility.I use the camera as a conduit to enter environments in which may otherwise be uncomfortable, to explore themes I couldn’t otherwise articulate.It allows me to explore fleeting moments never to be repeated, lighting events never to be seen again.This environment is specific to me, yet familiar to everyone. It is family beach days as children, finding yourself suddenly alone in the ocean, it is the beauty and stillness of a sunset or the chaos of a work day which will disappear once you immerse yourself underwater, a fishing trip with friends, or a girlfriend teaching you to surf. It is seascapes as landscapes,sand hills and lawn,snow or bushfires. It is my world that you recognize, it is the ocean told through 18 photographs.


The ocean physically shapes our environment, emotionally shapes our psyche and defines our borders. The ocean gives life and takes away without discrimination. It is our environment, occasionally terrifying always mesmerising. The series The Sea and Me is composed of modern photographs taken with modern equipment, yet are timeless in their subject matter, scenes that have existed for millennia and will continue for millennia more with or without you. The Sea and Me is truly the sea and all of us, past, present and future.The work exposes a personal relationship I have with the ocean and perhaps the way in which we as a society have a relationship which can be simultaneously terrifying and beautiful, an uncomfortable dichotomy. My work aims to convey the fine line that the ocean and its power can give and take.The ocean, in all her moods is a place I go for comfort. It is a place I find most shelter from everyday anxieties.


Che Chorley-The Sea and Me, 2014.