REGNVM

Kris Micallef, March 2014

Memory is like a post-it note. And behind it is a steamed-up screen; a window that overlooks a forgotten scene, overheard voices, the smell of something you can almost taste, someone walking away and leaving their smile behind.

Then you wipe away the steam and the blurs solidify into an outline, filling up slowly with colour, like an hourglass with sand. There is laughter, as happy as a summer house, the unexpected poetry that a crab scribbles in the sand and then a long night in the car, not quite out of reach from the spray of the crashing waves. And as you breathe, the windows steam up.

My first memory of the sea is a blur. I’m not even sure it’s my memory. Maybe someone told me about it and I stole their memory and made it mine. But I do seem to recall myself, four years old, maybe five, at Xlendi Tower in Gozo. There are just two colours. The bright yellow sunshine and the deep blue sea. If I stare hard enough, there is a bright red. That was my happiness as I looked down at the bay, imagining myself flying down to the sea and making a giant splash asI dived.

In 2012 I started diving with my camera. I had been wanting to shoot underwater for a long time. To absorb the light and colours. To see how human movement calms down to a peaceful slow motion. To forget the weather on land and be in a place where it never rains.

You are never alone underwater. A shadow drops, the light changes, and suddenly you are surrounded by creatures, living beyond the real or the imaginary. On land they are models, gymnasts, dancers – underwater they are seahorses, nymphs, mermaids, sirens. It’s a magical kingdom. REGNVM.

[words: Stanley Borg]
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