All photos by Laura Emerson. Used with Creative Commons permission.
Man has long been captivated by the quest to explore the unfathomable expanse of the universe. Yet, there are still depths right on our own planet that we haven’t reached. To some degree, we don’t have to look far for worlds that are strange, otherworldly, and unfamiliar. In her clever and stunning underwater series, London-based Laura Emerson shows that the wonders of the cosmos lay not only in some distant corner of deep space, but also right here on our home world.
Emerson’s case for her Deep Blue Cosmos series was built on a poignant realization during her freediving sessions. Within the depths of our oceans is a resemblance of the otherworldly beauty and brilliance scattered across the vastness of the observable universe. She said this resemblance inspires her, as well as “our places of origin, and in some way, a part of ourselves we cannot fathom.” Her photos uncover a parallel world where the light of the sun above appears to be cosmic objects glowing against the deep darkness. Any space fan will easily see the uncanny likeness with hot gas coalescing to form stars, stars bursting into their first light, or the nebulous remains of a star that went supernova.
As simple as the idea is, and minimalist as the imagery turned out, Deep Blue Cosmos is a great example of how creative minds can come up with impressive works of art by building on clever associations. Through this body of work, we can immerse ourselves in the resemblance or even the realization that the magnificence of the cosmos manifests right here. That the universe is vast and its wonders know no bounds. That the Pale Blue Dot we call home can be both alien and unfamiliar.
Check out Laura Emerson’s website and Behance portfolio to see more of her photography.