/ Laima Arlauskaitė / Photo story

What the water gave us

“Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries – stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region”. (H. Melville)

The project was born out of an enquiry into the personal perpetual anxiety and the way out of it, sometime back in December 2020, stuck on a very strange island, surrounded by the Atlantic.

This is the first chapter of this project, which employs the working scientific concept of “Blue Mind” devised by Dr Wallace J Nichols. It investigates our transformative connection to water and provides the scientific toolkit to our tacit knowledge: very human, millennia-old intuitions, all of which tend to instinctively drive us to spend time in, near, on or under water; in turn making us more balanced and more well-rounded human beings. This mildly meditative state serves as a remedy to what is known as “red mind” – the anxious, over-connected and over-stimulated state that defines the new normal of modern life.

Laima Arlauskaitė (1987) is a self-taught photographer of Lithuanian-Russian origin, born in Vilnius and now based in London. Her work is informed by the documentary and portrait traditions with poetic sensibilities. Her personal practice focuses on observation of her surroundings, exploring the choreography of both deeply personal and collective rituals; and is particularly concerned with a physical, psychological and emotional connection to an element or place.