An art project about cold water swimming and wellbeing, looking at the benefits of facing risk and vulnerability each day through immersion in the sea. I aim to connect the shared experience of swimming to the creative process, by swimming with, photographing, painting and recording conversations with at least 66 sea swimmers, from quick dippers to channel swimmers. Collectively what unites us? Creatively how can art bring people together?
I am a local artist, passionate about swimming in the sea. I moved to Shoreham Beach in 2007 and have been regularly swimming since then, though this is only my third full winter.
Over the last few years I have met some wonderful people, and as the popularity of cold water swimming grows I am meeting more and more. During the pandemic the number of people swimming in the sea has dramatically increased, and I believe anyone who started during lockdown will by now be hooked! I have become increasingly interested in the
greater significance and impact this activity seems to have on those who do it.
IMMERSED 2021 is an art project about cold water swimming and wellbeing. Since March I have swum with, photographed and painted at least 55 sea swimmers, from quick dippers to channel swimmers, in Shoreham by Sea and beyond.
All the portraits are done on the beach, straight after a swim. Most days have been sunny, though often chilly. They are all painted on 12cm square paper using water colours, with water from the sea. Sometimes I do more than one, the second one much more quickly. This is about a shared experience, an exchange. There is a soft attention, a tenderness, that affects both the person being painted and me, the painter. After swimming there is a heightened sense of awareness. I notice this in both the portraits I make of others and the self portraits, which I do every day on my return from the sea.
In order to celebrate the increasingly communal (but not always) aspect of sea swimming here on Shoreham beach, I invite you to join me on one or more of the following events, where you can meet fellow swimmers who have participated in this project.
FULL MOON SWIMS
– 26 May Flower Moon
– 24 June Strawberry Moon
– 24 July Buck Moon
I am planning to swim at each full moon for the duration of this project, where weather and tide conditions are suitable and safe, usually between 9pm and 10pm on Shoreham Beach. These are not organised events but you are welcome to join me if you fancy a moonlit dip! If I don’t send out a reminder do get in touch with me to find out when and where on the night. Or form your own full moon posse – stay safe, swim together.
SWIM CREATIVE WORKSHOPS
– Sun 20 June // 10.00 – 12.00
– Mon 21 June // 19.00 – 21.00 Solstice special – sunset at 21.21 – bring nibbles and drinks and hang around to celebrate
– Friday 16 July // 13.00 – 15.00
You are each invited to attend a free 2 hour workshop including meditation, some creative exercises, and a swim. Choose one of the above dates and let me know ASAP as numbers will be limited. These are being offered to all IMMERSED participants, no art experience necessary, materials will be provided.
A POP UP EXHIBITION OF ALL THE SWIM PORTRAITS I HAVE DONE DURING THE PANDEMIC FROM MARCH TO JUNE 2021
11 – 24 June // The Neighbourhood Store, 16 High Street, Shoreham-By-Sea.
– Friday 11 June // 17.30 – 18.30
Join me for an informal celebration of the project so far, bring your own drinks!
Meet me on Coronation Green opposite.
Follow the ‘Spot the Swimmer’ postcard trail around Shoreham-By-Sea High Street.
The project began in March and continues until the end of July 2021. Do get in touch if you would like to join in. You can contact me via my website www.katiesollohub.co.uk or follow me on Facebook or Instagram @katiesollohub