Jesse grew up in Ireland before to moving to London to study photography at London College of Communication. She graduated as of June 2016 and currently lives and works in London. We Were Swimming is her first short narrative film.
Inspired by personal conversations and shared biographies that recalled the strange and overwhelming world of teenage friendship, I began exploring the vital and under-represented intricacies of girlhood. I became intrigued by these universal observations that seemed gender specific. The ominous, ambiguous, erotic and aggressively pretty nature of the visuals attempts to disorient the preconceived notions of girlhood and femininity, which are further subverted by the constant use of the colour blue. We Were Swimming is a reaction to the image of girl within a social context. Beauty rituals aid the cultural construction of femininity and for this reason can become oppressor to both girls and women. Washing and brushing long, thick hair, skin care application, actions that are, at first glance, nurturing evolve into something with a sinister significance. We Were Swimming abandons the sweet scents of girlhood to make room for a multifaceted, obscure and essential relationship. The highly aestheticized visuals coincide with a bleak voice over to create an oppositional effect; an archetype of purity and innocence with secrets, desires and darkness. Through the female gaze a coded language between young women is acknowledged.