Behind the Water Goddess

I wake up, another day in Beautiful Bali. My father's house sits on the Southern end, close to the beach, which is beautiful apart from the littered plastic and air of consumerism. I wake up late. The sun is shining and i'm cold. The air conditioning has been on all night and I want to snuggle in bed a little longer. Already my mind is racing, active, my body wants to move but god, am I comfortable here. I stretch and roll my way slowly out of bed onto the floor, where lies my already outstretched yoga mat. I stretch, move, flow, breathe. I sit and feel. I allow peace and gentle surrender into my breath, with this, the day has begun.

I had met Guna Dwi a couple of days earlier at Bali Buda, an amazing little (mostly) vegan cafe a few sweats away. He has with him an assistant and we go over ideas for what we would like to shoot. I am sweaty, hot and bothered, I have only eaten a bit of fruit that morning because I was going through one of my crazy diet rages where I only eat fruit during the day. This led to many trips to the bathroom and a kind of "away with the fairies" state of mindfulness.

It's the day of the shoot and I am excited, as I always get when I know I'm shooting with another creative soul. There is a joy within the deepest part of the human mind that becomes thrilled and inspired, ignited by a passion, a desire to create something out of nothing. This is what I live for. This is what I love. I shower, dress and begin the ritual of applying my make up. Which I always enjoy. I take my time, I feel like I am preparing for battle. My war paint. Fighting for solidarity, for a change in perception and acceptance of all beings within their unique journeys.

I leave the house, I get just out of the little hole in the wall that is our street and just as I recognise Guna in the distance, my shoe breaks. Damn. I shrug, laugh and return home to borrow some of my father's shoes, which don't fit me what-so-ever. But better than nothing, I think. 

We have two motor scooters, Guna jumps on one and I lift myself onto the back. My helmet doesn't quite fit and the safety clip keeps falling off, I have to hold the ends close together with one hand while the other hangs on to the back of the bike to keep myself steady. There are four of us, Guna along with his two assistants. One of which will be filming for the day. They are consistently asking what I need, if anything, am I hungry, thirsty, I mentioned the other day when we'd met for coffee that I'm a big fan of fruit, so they have brought a bag full of bananas, apples, oranges, mangoes and mandarins. We also stop for coffee (thank god). I feel safe, respected and appreciated. These people want nothing more than my complete contented comfort and happiness. We get along well, we joke, laugh and realise how alike we all are. The language barrier is not a barrier and in fact, we find, the connection lies within the silence between words, rather than the words themselves.

Our location is a divinely beautiful stretch of coast, it has been raining almost all of the night before and the waves are choppy and impatient with the tides. At least there may not be many people around, which is always a concern when doing this type of work. There are only a couple of surfers. Great. We find a spot to start and we just fall into it. There's no "Ok, let's begin" we just fall into place, our creativity takes over and we are pulled into action. We start bouncing ideas off each other, We move and flow as the tides settle and calm themselves. The ocean becomes calm and serene. More people start to arrive. We are shifting between being nude and wrapping my self in a sarong. No one's paying attention and we find little caves and cracks within the big moon-like stone walls that surround us. We have music on, we dance and play in the sunshine, I pose, photos are taken, we relax by the water, chatting away about nothing. We munch away on fresh fruit and discuss how much we love the creative work we do. We promise to stay in touch and make an oath to shoot every time I come to Bali.

My father, despite not having much physical appearance within my life, has none the less revealed many words of wisdom, which happen to really shape a lot of what I do and how I create my life. One of them is, you may not know what you want or who you are, but if you find something that comes to you easily, you find doors open and every one you meet you so genuinely connect with, that is a good sign you have found a purpose. He also said my eyebrows looked like they've been hand-carved by angels. He was smoking a lot of grass at the time but god that comment stuck with me. As did everything he said to me that felt important. 

This whole shoot, the photos, the video, the entire day with these incredibly sweet and kind artists is something very special. It hits close to home and really allowed me space to be free within my self and to express that without bounds. 

The images I have published are taken with a Rolleiflex Film Camera, which is a beautiful little box of magic that creates these dream-like images. I feel it captures the feeling perfectly. 

View the Full Set Here

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