Exploring The Art And Artistry Of Open Water Swimming

Exploring The Art And Artistry Of Open Water Swimming

Not only will there be great conversations and presentations at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach, California, but there will also be artwork from various open water swimmers from around the world enhancing the conference rooms aboard the Queen Mary.

Dr. Lisa Stansbie is one of those artists and presenters who will enhance the Conference with her creations.

Dr. Dr. Stansbie is Head of The Department of Art and Communication at the University of Huddersfield in the U.K. Her Ph.D. was awarded in 2010 from Leeds Metropolitan University and was unique in that it exists solely as a website. As an artist, her contemporary art work crosses many disciplines including sculpture, photography, film, sound and drawing.

During her three-month sabbatical from The University of Huddersfield, she aimed at producing a new body of work. Her research and subsequent work centered on her love of open water swimming with a particular focus on channel training and channel swimmers.

Within contemporary art there are few practitioners cross the worlds of sport and art.

I wanted to create work about channel swimming, but from an insider’s perspective and without merely just illustrating the sport.” In February and March 2012 a period of filming was undertaken for the project which involved filming hardy cold water swimmers and locations around the U.K including St. Neots (Cambridge), The Serpentine, London, Tooting Bec Lido (London) Cornwall, Scarborough and the North East coast of England.

Dr. Stansbie also created a series of sculptures based on photographs of homemade feeding equipment from English Channel swimmers. She used the same objects and materials, such as sports/feeding bottles, kick boards, ropes, poles and latex to create a series of feeding sculptures. “I have also cast feeding bottles in pigmented plaster and even melted plastic bottles into abstract shapes. The sculptures are then used within photographs and films, often using camera movement to stimulate a ‘rocking’ sensation.”

Very creatively and of interest to those interested in the affects of ocean tidal movement on swimmers is a drawing that utilizes the GPS information from the English Channel escort boat Anastasia. The piece collates all the routes undertaken by the pilot Eddie Spelling during the year 2011.

Dr. Stansbie’s recent work has looked at the rituals involved in both the actual swim and the training itself. Using herself as the protagonist, she is currently documenting with film, her reaction after cold water immersion as she attempts to acclimatise. It is intended that this will culminate in a film of each episode that illustrates how the ‘shakes’ gradually become less.

Enjoy her work at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference/>. To register, visit here.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones