How to keep your head above water

This month’s project has been a beautiful one. A friend commissioned me to create an single cover, for her latest realese on spotify. The single, Still, produced both tears and tingles on my first listen, as I dove deeper into the songs metaphors for greif, I knew I needed to be a part of the project.

Elly Kace, is a amazing singer. Her first album, Nothing I See Means Anything, has come from her experiences as a singer/ songwriter, classically trained opera singer and healer. Her work features singing bowls and healing elements, but on this song you will cry.

She told me the story of a friend of hers who had lost her husband to covid this last year and her thoughts on trying to have her first Valentines Day without him.

I listened to the song and there was a beautifu line about the womans’ fears of swimming in the lake without him. As I mentioned this to Elly she confided this was actually a memory of her grandparents who met at the lake and would swim every summer together. Her grandfather had also died during this year of covid and so her grandmother would be facing a similar Valentines Day, the first of decades, alone.

Water for me, has always been tied to the tides of emotion, and swimming, in particulary, has strong connotations with emotional states. We say we are drowning, when we are overwhelmed, we dive deep when soul searching, we try and keep our heads above water when facing struggles. I thought of these emotions as a huge weight, pulling back these strong females’ backs, opening their chests to breath, breathing into it. The only way forward is through.

The image I created started with a really sweet image of Elly’s grandparents at the lake, that she entrusted me with. They are looking out to sea from the pier under a rainbow. I combined this with with a woman swimming, head just above water. You see more of reflection, than her head- her thoughts reflected in the sea above, and across Elly’s soulful face. I overlaid all the images to create one that hopefully opens up the eye to more and more detail the longer is it reflected.

Into the deep.


Image Courtesy of Elly Kace

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