Janeanne Gilchrist is a freediver and photographer from Scotland who has attracted international attention for her work which captures objects in the sea and mirrors the images to capture that otherworldliness that exists beneath the surface.

These images have been captured around the coast of Scotland. 


At a time when nations are exploring their impact on the seas, particularly through the overuse of plastics, Janeanne has created images which highlight the detritus in the sea around Scotland in eye-catching ways which challenge viewers’ perceptions and imaginations. There is an irony in the ethereal beauty she creates from the debris that should not be in the sea.

Free diving off the unpredictable coasts of Scotland, one breath at a time, Janeanne forages for objects in the depths – a tangle of fishing net, a singed seaman’s sou’wester, discarded fish gut, a decomposing plastic bag – the thoughtlessly discarded cast-offs of fishermen and of man. She also searches out natural subjects – the spawning seaweed, the mesmerizing alien glow of a jellyfish, the stone washed bones of a migratory bird. 

About Janeanne Gilchrist.
Janeanne Gilchrist is a photographic artist and image-maker. She was born and brought up in Edinburgh and graduated from Napier University in 1996 with a BA (Honours) in photography and film. This is her First solo exhibition following Retina Scottish International Photography festival in 2015 for which she won the 2016 JD Fergusson Arts Award. The Edinburgh-based artist, who began her career as a commercial photographer, has gone on to capture the secrets of Scotland’s underwater world while freediving, diving without the use of breathing equipment, a pursuit she took up 15 years ago. “To freedive is the most amazing sensation,” she says. “Mastering your fear and hanging silently suspended in the blue/green of the sea, in gin-clear water, in glass-like conditions, is a spiritual experience.”
Shot alone out in the sea in the period after her mother’s death, the photographs in Above, Below, Beyond are also infused with submerged grief and evasive, finely textured feeling: the ghostly vulnerability of objects and clothing, carrying the disintegrating memories of their former purpose. There is a natural fear and otherworldliness present in every image.
A couple of images from her exhibition have been selected as part of the International Marine Debris art show which runs alongside the NOAA conference in San Diego. And Semantic Memory has been chosen as an entry for Ashurst Emerging Artist 2018 award.
Follow Janeanne on Instagram janeannegilchrist