Sea swimming exhibition makes Plymouth first port of call

The first display of an exhibition exploring the inspirational effects of sea bathing is coming to Plymouth University next month. 

To coincide with World Ocean Day on 8 June, the University’s Peninsula Arts programme is pleased to announce that, Head Above Water, a touring exhibition from company Sea Swim, will be coming to the campus from 23 July – 3 September. 

The exhibition is a History Centre partnership project delivered by Peninsula Arts and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.

Through film, photography, sculpture, drawing and poetry, it will capture the sensations, stories and psychological impact brought about by the experience of swimming in the sea. 

Peninsula Arts is the first venue for Head Above Water before it is shown at Strange Cargo in Folkestone and at Crescent Arts in Scarborough.

Lara Goodband from Sea Swim is curating the exhibition and 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 itself. 

Sea Swim has been exploring, with groups of swimmers in Plymouth, how swimming in the sea changes the way we feel ourselves to be in our bodies.

To launch the exhibition, there will be a day of special events on 23 July including a family-friendly workshop led by artist Gayle Chong Kwan and curator and artist talks led by Sea Swim. All events are free and bookings can be made via the Peninsula Arts box office or by calling 01752 585050.

Two open air film screenings will also take place on 22 and 23 July at Tinside Lido to celebrate the exhibition’s opening. Tickets for both sea-themed screenings, which are being delivered in partnership with Plymouth Arts Centre, go on sale on 15 June. 

Additional family activities and talks will also take place in August.

Dr Sarah Chapman, Director of Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University, said: 

“As a coastal city known for its stunning location and marine and maritime heritage, it’s fantastic that Head Above Water is making its first stop in Plymouth. Peninsula Arts recognises and embraces how inspiration can come from the sea – not only the water itself, but the sensations brought about by activities and movement therein. The exciting and diverse range of artists and media will no doubt make for a wonderful exhibition, which I hope many people will come along to enjoy.”

Lara Goodband said: 

“I’ve really enjoyed working closely with Plymouth University and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. Everyone has been so enthusiastic and supportive. Plymouth is the ideal location to launch this show: I’ve had fantastic swims at Devil’s Point and Tinside with friendly groups of swimmers. I’m sure visitors to the exhibition will recall their own sea swims when they look at the artwork on display.”

Head Above Water runs from 23 July-3 September 2016 at Peninsula Arts Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University. 

The exhibition will be open Monday to Friday: 10:00-17:00, Saturday 11:00-16:00. Admission is free.

For more information about the exhibition visit the Plymouth University Peninsula Arts event page: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/sea-swim-and-head-above-water