Lexi Laine is a British artist working in the medium of photography. Based on the south coast of the UK, Lexi specialises in creating ethereal underwater scenes in some of the most unique and pristine locations around the globe. She has spent several years training as a freediver in order to extend the amount of time she can stay underwater. Lexi chooses not to use scuba equipment and instead undertakes all of her work on a single breath hold. More often than not her photographs depict a single female or multiple women, featuring highly skilled freedivers as the subjects.
Works responding to the human impact on the marine environment can be seen throughout the artist’s portfolio. Influences of 17th and 18th century baroque painting, fantasy and folklore can also often be found in her images. Lexi enjoys explorations of surreal contradictions, blurring boundaries and using photography as a means to create otherworldly, emotive art.
Lexi studied BA Fine Art at UCA (University for the Creative Arts) Canterbury in 2001-2004 and since graduating has been building her career as a photographer and artist. In 2019 Lexi was shortlisted as a finalist in both the Art Gemini Prize and The Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. For two years running, in 2018 and 2019 she was awarded ‘Image of the Year’ by leading UK training provider, Photography Farm. Also in 2019 Lexi was sponsored by Sony UK to create a short behind the scenes documentary of her practise. The project was undertaken in the magical cenotes of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. (watch video below)
When you meet her, if you meet her, you’d be forgiven for guessing she belongs on the earth. She breathes the air and walks around like she is the same as us mortals. But if you see her down here in her underworld, you’ll understand that this is her origin and where she will always return.
Through my photography, I aim to capture the feeling of being in another world. I enjoy exploring contrasts; ideally I look to create images with incongruous elements and also that portray the otherworldly beauty of natural underwater environments.
I’m driven by looking forward into a potentially dystopian future whilst at the same time being influenced by mythology and historical painting. I greatly admire the aesthetic of renaissance and baroque artists and the way they used light to add drama to the scenes they depicted. I am drawn to creating a visual narrative where the women in my images become characters from fantastical and surreal stories. And there’s often an apparent journey in the images I create; in some she floats towards the light in an eerie suggestion of traveling from one world to the next. In other scenes, she is being consumed, a representation of vulnerability and a reminder of the incredible force of water. I am interested in showing her feelings of euphoria and of melancholy. My aim is to transport the viewer into these dreamscapes so that they can find in these images, their own fears and fearlessness.
I believe that ocean conservation is one of the most pressing challenges that we face today and through my series of images titled ‘Single Use Planet’ I explore the responsibility we as humans have in protecting this part of our world. The locations in which I make these photos are very important to me. I love to work in the open sea in order to capture the vast depths, darkness and beauty in this under-appreciated part of our planet. I also frequently shoot in the cenotes of Mexico, a series of symbolic and mysterious sinkholes which feel to me like ethereal underwater forests. I choose to undertake all of these projects whilst freediving because it gives me a better connection with the people that I photograph and also with the environment in which I work. Together we experience the thrill of holding our breath and diving deep down into our underworld. It is here that I feel the most alive and in touch with myself as an artist.
(UPCOMING) 2020 - Exhibiting at The Other Art Fair at The Old Truman Brewery, London - Autumn 2020 TBC
(UPCOMING) 2021 - Exhibiting at Contemporary Art Fairs at Windsor Racecourse - 13th-15th November 2020
(UPCOMING) 2020 - Exhibiting at Roy’s Art Fair at The Barge House, Oxo Tower, London - Autumn 2020 TBC
(UPCOMING) 2021 - Exhibiting at Sussex Art Fairs at Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester - Spring 2021 TBC
2019 - Exhibited in Art Gemini Finalists show at Gallery Nawei, The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore - 9th-15th November 2019
2019 - Image of the Year from Photography Farm
2019 - Finalist in the Art Gemini Prize 2019
2019 - Finalist of the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize 2019
2019 - Exhibited at Sussex Art Fairs at Brighton Racecourse, UK - 11th-13th October 2019
2018 - Image of the Year from Photography Farm
2017 - Sonando Bajo El Agua - Solo Exhibition in Es Mares Gallery, Formentera, Spain
2020 - Meet the Others - Interview with Saatchi Art for The Other Art Fair
2020 - Deep & Meaningful - Professional Photo Magazine - National UK magazine for professional photographers. Cover photo and 6 page feature
2020 - The Best Magazine - double page feature in February 2020 edition
2019 - Under The Surface - Documentary film for Sony UK & Wex Photo
2019 - Lexi Laine the Freediving Photographer - Viva Brighton Magazine October 2019 edition (page 64+65)
2019 - MPB meets Lexi Laine - web interview
2019 - Photobite - video interview at The Photography Show
2019 - Beneath the Waves - Interview with Wex Photo Video
2019 - Photography Now - video interview at The Photography Show
2019 - Ibiza Heute Magazine Feature - April 2019 edition
2019 - Underwater Photography, 13 Incredible Images You’ve Never Seen Before - guest blog feature with ‘Looks Like Film’
2019 - Pursuing Passion Projects - interview with Perspective: podcasts for wedding creatives