32 color plates
9 x 12
The newest addition to Sylph’s series The Art Monographs, Breathing Underwater tells of a duplicitous world in which dream may become nightmare, and beauty terror, in the blink of an eye. This is a realm of shifting shapes and organic forms, saturated with a surfeit of life that seems variously splendid and miraculous, ruthless and inevitable. The natural world features strongly; we encounter storm-beaten trees, tired butterflies and panicked sheep. Yet the human world is never far away, a relentless presence that changes and exhausts all that comes into contact with it.
In this intensely intimate conversation between poet and artist, Lisa Davidson’s texts find a haunting echo in Ralph Petty’s dream-like ink wash drawings. Breathing Underwater reveals the convergence of two minds on one theme, discovering in each drawing-poem pair the rich cross-pollination between the visual and the verbal.