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Nadia Huggins

Transformations No 1 (2014)

Digital photographs printed on Chromaluxe

In her Transformation diptych series Huggins juxtaposes two images that form a single underwater portrait. On the left, Transformations No 1 shows a submerged human figure, the artist, illuminated by refracted light in a cerulean seascape. The figure’s obscured facial features seem to extend to the image on the right, which depicts a shadowed sea urchin surrounded by a deteriorating coral reef. Interplay between the seascape, the body, and its limitations are documented using juxtaposition and self-portraiture. As Huggins delves below the horizon and into transient moments of self in the marine ecosystem, refracted light obscures the artist’s body, displacing it from identifiers of gender, race, and class. Huggins uses this absence of social and political constructs under the ocean to reconsider both identity as well as the imagined boundary between humans and the natural world, bearing witness to something that cannot be fully captured.