Ehua and Matteo Zamagni explore the paradoxical nature of a liminal shade through intricate costume design and improvised choreography.
Earlier this year London-based, Italian-Ivorian producer Ehua released Aquamarine on Nervous Horizon, an EP inspired by the colours and movements of water. Corralling homemade percussive samples, original vocals and a broad variety of tempos and moods, Ehua explores the depths of her subject matter with a dark and enveloping sound. It makes sense, then, that for the visual for the project’s title track the artist’s sights are set squarely on the bottom of the ocean. Collaborating with director and musician Matteo Zamagni, also known as Seven Orbits, Ehua embarks on an exploration of “the paradoxical nature of the aquamarine colour, it’s presence and invisibility.” Abstract, gauzy close-ups of fabric, skin and pearls give the impression of organic life forms, Ehua’s own movements approximating the ebb and flow of marine life.
“Preparing to shoot this video was a unique experience,” she says. “We turned Matteo Zamagni’s place into a workshop and spent over a month brainstorming, designing and looking up materials to create the outfit and all its imaginary creatures and natural formations. I want to incorporate all my skills in my artistic practice. Dancing is my compass, they way my body reads sound and lets me know I’m onto something good when I’m working on new music.” Drawing inspiration from aquatic lifeforms, Ehua looked to channel the motion of deep sea creatures in her choreography. “To build the vocabulary for the dance improvisation I observed the contrasts between the subtle and almost undetectable movements of corals and the virtual freedom of the jellyfish.”
The result is a hypnotic marriage of instinctual movement, carefully crafted costume and evocative set design, with Ehua and Matteo Zamagni bearing out the cavernous pressure and shadowy sensuality of the track in the most minute detail.