As an avid diver, Dina was inspired to capture the colors, emotions, and sensations of being immersed in the ocean. Above + Below explores not only the water, which Dina masterfully portrays, but also references the plants and animals that exist in this delicate ecosystem. Coral was a particular focus for Dina as she began studying the dying reefs and the sad state of our oceans as a result of human intrusion. As the series name suggests, each work takes on a different perspective, some capturing the feeling of being below the surface of the water and looking up at the sun, others taken as if from a bird’s eye view above, inspired by plane rides over the Pacific Islands. One consistent element regardless of the work’s perspective is the presence of light. Conscious of religious and philosophical rhetorics regarding the notion of light, Dina infused each painting with the presence of a light source, and the emotion of striving to “swim towards the light”. Ultimately, each work in Above + Below is a study of the color blue – all the intricate shades and the varying emotional responses each one conveys. For Dina, the experience of diving is the feeling of total extraction from any worldly troubles or concerns, surrounded only by the refracted light, and a million shades of blue.