Len Jenshel & Diane Cook

October 5, 2000 - October 28, 2000

Underwater World. San Francisco, California
1997

Image © Diane Cook

Maui Ocean Center, Wailuku, Maui
1997

Image © Diane Cook

Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California
1998

Image © Diane Cook

Crystal Cay, Marine Park, New Providence Island, Bahamas
1998

Image © Diane Cook

Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, Canada
2000

Image © Len Jenshel

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California
1998

Image © Len Jenshel

Atlantis Aquarium, Paradise Island, Bahamas
1998

Image © Len Jenshel

Underwater World, San Francisco, California
1997

Image © Len Jenshel

Len Jenshel & Diane Cook


A collaborative team for 10 years, Jenshel and Cook present their own unique perspectives in the Aquariums project, resulting in a comprehensive and sometimes whimsical study in both color and black and white on aquariums throughout the world. After their much acclaimed and award-winning book, HOT SPOTS, America’s Volcanic Landscape, this husband and wife team have chosen with the Aquarium project to delve into the artificial landscape of public aquariums. Their work explores the subtle beauty inherent in these created aquatic realms, be it lyrical, ominous, or mysterious According to Cook & Jenshel, “The large acrylic windows of the aquarium displays allows the viewer to peer (with safety) into an aquatic landscape inaccessible to most – and we are intrigued by what that proximity allows. Somehow being in a non-natural landscape, as well as one that is denied to us without a wet suit or oxygen tank, has freed our vision from the constraints of describing to the realm of imagining. Interpretation has superseded documentation, and we are intrigued by blurring the boundaries between the real, the unreal and the ideal.” In the black & white photographs, Diane Cook spent months testing films, papers, chemistry, and toners. It seems oddly defiant to Ms. Cook that in a time when so many photographers are going digital, she chose, instead, the route of the medieval alchemist – mixing gold formula with selenium. The results are a stunning and luminously glowing print that serves to enhance the strange and surreal qualities of these underwater worlds. Len Jenshel, one of the pioneers of the “new color photography”, uses color as content, transcending the clichÚ of the seductive and beautiful to that of meaning, mystery, and metaphor.