In the Swimming Pool is Maria's largest series yet, originating in 2014 and continuing to develop to date. Sparked by a hunt for interesting location, her fascination with the space of public swimming pools contributed to developing her visual style. Sterile, geometric beauty of old pools set the tone for these photographs. Each of them pictures a different pool, usually built in the Socialist Era, in various locations in Slovakia. There is almost cinematographic quality to the highly controlled sceneries that Maria captures. The figures are mid-movement, but there is no joyful playfulness to them. Frozen in the composition, the swimmers are as smooth and cold as the pools tiles. The colours softly vibrate in a dream-like atmosphere. Despite the retro setting, the pictures somehow evoke a futuristic feeling as well, as if they were taken somewhere completely alien. There is no disturbing emotion, there is no individuality in their stillness. The artificial detachment, created by Maria's visual vision, allows unique visual pleasure, unattainable in real life.
Maria Svarbova was born in 1988 in Slovakia. Despite studying restoration and archeology, she found a medium for her artistic expression in photography. Since 2010, she has focused on developing her own photographic language, quickly gaining international recognition. Amongst awards, solo and group exhibitions, her work has been featured in Vogue, Guardian, Instagram, and many other publications. Highlights of her commercial work include commission for promotional poster displayed at the Taiwanese landmark, 101 skyscraper. Maria has developed a distinctive style early on – departing from traditional portraits to focus on experimentation with space, colour and atmosphere. Her interest in architecture and public spaces, usually build in the Socialist era, led her to create unique sceneries. Human body in Maria's photographs is more or less a prop, without individuality or emotions. As part of careful composition, beautifully alien figures create still, dream-like scenes with ordinary objects. There is a silent tension, the drama is hidden under clean, smooth surface. Even in her more ornamental, nostalgic works there is a sense of cold detachment. Everyday actions such as sports or doctors visit are frozen in a moment and through Maria's eyes, given a new meaning. Soothing pastels, geometry and visual purity give a sense of otherworldly order, undisturbed visual pleasure that is unattainable in real life. Through her photographs, Maria stops the time and shares her vision: she is not afraid to address the loneliness and isolation, nevertheless she chooses to celebrate its still, calm beauty.