BEFORE SWIMMING LEITH VICTORIA
by SOO BURNELL
"I wanted to photograph the pools to show the beauty of the architecture, while minimising the modern elements. I love the geometry of the tiles, the lines on the bottom of the pool and the typography of the signs. Since my first Poolside exhibition in 2018, I have travelled to London, Paris, Manchester and Glasgow to add to my collection. Focusing on composition, carefully using blocks of colour to show interesting shape and proportion. The eye is drawn to the architecture, then the symmetry and reflections, and finally to the models, which feels more intimate.‘Although my first collections were heavily inspired by my love of Wes Anderson's work, I’ve also been looking to other cinematic imagery from directors like Terrence Malick and Stanley Kubrick, while still keeping my signature style.’ We are so lucky to still have these beautiful old pools and maybe the photographs will remind people how lovely they are." -Soo Burnell
Growing up surrounded by Edinburgh's historic beauty, it would be hard for any photographer not be inspired by its incredible buildings. However, it was the Victorian swimming pools of her childhood that really spoke to photographer Soo Burnell, and allowed her to apply her personal style and aesthetic to shoot these iconic buildings. Taking inspiration across many art forms, from architects, artists and filmmakers, Soo’s stylised shots are reminiscent of frames from a Wes Anderson film. Using a muted colour palette throughout her work, the architecture of the swimming pools and their pastel colours work perfectly with this style. The images portray calm, still, spaces punctuated with small, perfectly formed details, each shot revealing new layers of interest. Soo’s work offers a mesmerising and nostalgic glimpse into these hidden spaces, imbued with a dreamlike quality.
By Soo Burnell
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