Abi Whitlock's work focuses predominately on the human form and how the mind and body are affected when immersed in water. This is mirrored by the way light is refracted and reflected, distorting and enhancing colour and shape. Whitlock captures the way entering the water enables the swimmer to enter an altered state of mind; a form of escapism from the real world.
Her inspiration comes from life on the coast, trips to the beach and outdoor pools. The way she works puts great emphasis on minute detail. This imparts every aspect of the painting with value and depth which in turn gives the observer the sense that they themselves are becoming immersed along with the swimmer.
Although Whitlock works in a hyperrealist style; the way she paints water creates natural abstraction within her pieces. Water and its interplay with light generate unusual, distorted and complex patterns, altering the perception of everyday images. In some of her most recent work, she also includes the technique of acrylic pouring; using the natural fluidity of paint to mimic the fluidity of water. The vivid, marbled colours and the uncontrolled way they flow across the canvas creates a sense of freedom in the work; a sharp contrast to the tight photorealist element to her paintings.