Sea Swimming project

The DAD urban room

DAD hosted a group of young Dover makers, artists and sea swimming enthusiasts brought together from DAD’s and Future Foundary‘s networks to meet London based curator Rosie Hermon and  Vanessa Daws , a visual artist and open water swimmer based in Dublin, who are interested in including Dover in a new ‘Sea Swimming’ project.

Rosie and Vanessa met while Rosie was curator in residence at the Fire Station Artists Studios in Dublin. Rosie’s research is interested in the relationship between art practice and transnational networks. Rosie visited Vanessa at her studio in Temple Bar, here they discussed Vanessa’s future Channel swim aspirations and hopes to create an art project from this swim. They have since been working on this project that will span Ireland, Britain and France over the next couple of years.

With its special history of channel swimming, Dover feels like the perfect place for Vanessa’s practice and we are really looking forward to working with a wide range of people and organisations in the town to develop this exciting project. Rosie Hermon

My art practice explores place through swimming: as research, process and live event. ‘Place’ being the watery space navigated as well as the social space created by this shared activity. Swimming, journey, encounter, conversation are the starting points for my art projects, this process I have been describing as ‘Psychoswimography’. The word ‘swim’ added to Psychogeography to shift the meaning from a terrestrial drifting to a watery drifting and re-imagining of place.
I’m currently researching a new work that will explore the English Channel. I’m interested in the Channel swimmers who train on ‘Swimmer’s Beach’ every summer while waiting for their swim, as well as local swimmers who swim in Dover Harbour, their local swim stories and the swimming history of Dover. This project takes as it’s starting point my own Channel attempt last summer where I spent 12 hours swimming in the Channel waters but was made to stop as the winds and strong tides were pushing me towards the Calais Ferry Port entrance. Vanessa Daws