Author, illustrator, fine art artist, and graphic designer Calida Garcia Rawles created a stunning series of paintings depicting black bodies floating in the water.

Five years ago, the artist learns to swim, and she tells how this experience inspired her: “I found that I felt emotionally lighter after leaving the pool, no matter what issues I was working out before I jumped into the water. This led me to begin using water as a visual language… a way to heal and address difficult and divisive issues”

The artist represents the characters floating in luminous waters of a magnificent colour. These scenes are often inspired by supernatural concepts that she discovers in the stories of writers such as Octavia Butler and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Ta-Nehisi Coates even used the painter’s work for the cover of her first novel, The Water Dancer.