Pamela Crimmins makes painterly photographs shooting up through the surface of water. The water acts as a shifting, multi-lobed, liquid lens, distorting the appearance of people, architecture and landscapes outside the water. Her work explores and exploits the properties of water, including its surface tension and its ability to reflect and to refract light, separating the color spectrum into its components. Working in pools, ponds, lakes and the sea, she considers the effects that wind, swells, salt, organic matter, and time of day will have on her subjects. By controlling her relative depth and distance from her subject, and agitating the surface of the water with her flippers and hands, her body becomes a human paintbrush that actively affects the image.
Pamela Crimmins was born in New York City and raised in Connecticut. She studied both painting and photography as an undergraduate. After graduation, she served as an intern photographer at the American Embassy in Rabat, Morocco. Upon her return, she moved to New York City, where she continued to paint and photograph and co-directed a non-profit that created murals with children. She began taking pictures underwater in 1996 while teaching her children how to swim. Pamela has taught art in NYC public schools and other venues for 25 years. She lives in Manhattan.