Born and raised in Colorado, USA, Conor Culver is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Denver with a B.F.A. degree in photography and digital design. He was first drawn into the wonders of the sea after earning his scuba certification at the age of 12, and his love of underwater photography began soon after.
Conor uses both digital photography and the darkroom to blend together different images from different worlds. For 23 years, he has dived around the globe in search of new creatures and animals to photograph and use in his surreal work, and his collections ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ and ‘Underwater Surrealism’ showcase the dreamlike realities he enjoys creating.
‘Underwater Surrealism combines animals below the surface with scenes from above it,’ said Conor. ‘Each individual image has either a reference in the names of the animals, their purpose in their habitat, historical art references, or the animal being placed in ironic scenes.’
‘These photographs were taken throughout my travels scuba diving around the world, and all the images are photographed with my own camera. Humans have always been interested in going to see these animals at aquariums or while scuba diving; instead, I am bringing these creatures up to us.
‘I often find the ocean’s creatures deemed as not important [as those on land]. When tragedy strikes animals on land, the stories make national headlines, but in most cases the ocean’s disasters are not even being told. This body of work is to bring these animals above the surface in an attempt to make them just as important and to tell their story of their role in this world.
‘The Surrealist movement of the 1920s believed that dreams are manifestations of our subconscious, and artwork was used to convey this belief. The images I create are an attempt to bring those dreams to reality with my camera and process. This body of work merges underwater, manipulated, landscape, and staged photography into an altered reality.
‘Ultimately, I want to bring these dreams to life through my photographic process and show the importance of the underwater realm.
We featured Conor’s work in our Autumn 2016 issue of DIVE Magazine. Click here to get your copy or subscribe to our digital magazine and app from just £9.99 to receive all of our latest content and all of our back issues, including Issue 4, which features Conor’s art.
Batfish take flight
Eagle ray nest
Coconut octopus house
Porcelain crab cactus
Butterflies over the river
Ghost in the woods
Leafy in the fall
Whale shark bowl
Hawks over the river
Sea snake sky
The time keeps passing
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