“As an ‘autoethnographic’ illustrator, I use my experience of being an all seasons, non-wetsuit wearing sea swimmer as the focus of my study. For me, the activities of art-making, theoretical research and sea swimming are linked by intense curiosity for the role of water in being human. I believe in embracing a conceptually and physically embodied integration with the sea, foregrounding the benefits of this reciprocal relationship through an ethos of guardianship over the world’s waters. Although grounded in the ecological and mindful well-being of people and place, my work is above all celebratory, positively engaging with ‘the wild’ of our oceans and their natural beauty. In examining sea life and seaweeds through swimming and drawing, I attempt to reveal the physiologies, behaviours, facts and fictions that drive us to be explorers in, into and on the sea.
Through my work, I attempt to extend the language used to describe the sensorial feelings and perceptions of open water swimming and visually articulate its benefits for the individual and community. Currently, the resulting forms encompass drawing, digital images and ceramics. I strive to reflect the watery nature of my subject through carefully chosen materials and processes. The human form is thereby acknowledged as a vessel of brine, interconnected to the sea, and the swimmer an active part of the environment.
The diverse contexts for my artwork range from the interiors and exteriors of public buildings to the documentation and promotion of community-based projects. These include creating murals and tiles for seaside walls and showers; the reportage of swimming events; and an array of swimming-related merchandise and image-based products. I hope to nurture, inspire and raise awareness to this pursuit of well-being, and promote a duty of care towards ourselves, each other and the oceans that support us.”