Exhibitions & Readings

Sea Swim is about process: documentation display; sub-cultures; the movement from sensation to narrative; suspension to weight; the embodied imagination – the sea is the ultimate liminal space and Sea Swim moves back and forth between the sea and art.

With funding from Arts Council England, we’re currently curating the touring exhibition Head Above Water: A Swimmer’s Perspective. Peninsula Arts, University of Plymouth, is the first venue for Head Above Water from 23 July to 3 September 2016 before touring to Strange Cargo in Folkestone and then to Crescent Arts in Scarborough opening on 17 February 2017 as part of Coastival 2017. The transformative effects of sea bathing inspires artists and writers in an exhibition that explores its sensations, stories and psychological effects. Head Above Water reveals the embodied imagination of the swimmer’s experience through film, photography, sculpture, drawing and poetry.

Artists include: Sally Barker, Tessa Bunney, Gary Coyle, Dorothy Cross, Lynn Dennison, Peter Matthews, Heinrich & Palmer, Simon Pope, Gayle Chong Kwan, Anna Sikorska, Kit Wise and Sea Swim. Sea Swim explores, with groups of swimmers in Plymouth, Folkestone and Scarborough how swimming in the sea changes the way we feel ourselves to be in our bodies through a range of activity and workshops.

The exhibition is curated by Lara Goodband. There is an accompanying essay by John Wedgwood Clarke, Lecturer in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Hull.

Sea Swim also presents work through publications, performances and conferences. Sea Swim is creating a growing imaginative map of the British coast from the swimmer’s perspective - be on it!

“I am thrilled to be patron of this beautifully simple and simply beautiful idea. Poetry is going down to the sea again.” Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate

Buy a copy of Sea Swim poems by John Wedgwood Clarke

Rain Swim

How everywhere it comes at once dissolves its entrance -
the fog unburdens in light so even
we cannot see the drops that make the sea spring up
forests of elastic stalagmites.

How the world turns through us – our bodies floating
off record, needle-poised now there's
nothing to utter other than tinny fizz
shifting everywhere in, filling the horizon with here.