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Take part in Scarborough's Big Swim events
Scarborough , the birthplace of sea bathing, brings swimming in the open water back into fashion with this weekend’s Big Swim free events.
They form part of Sea Swim, a project that has seen hundreds of people dip their toes in the North Sea since it began in June last year.
Sea Swim is one of the cornerstones of Imove, the Legacy Trust UK’s celebration of human movement in Yorkshire for the Cultural Olympiad.
Exploring the relationship between Scarborough, swimming in the sea and creativity, the Sea Swim project includes public swims, workshops, performances and artist residencies for all ages and abilities. Backed by the patronage of Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Sea Swim has encouraged people to take creative inspiration from the experience of swimming in the sea. During the Big Swim weekend, visitors to Scarborough Art Gallery will see a pop-up exhibition sampling the films, artwork and writing created by professional artists and swimmers in the past year.
Writer John Wedgwood Clarke, Sea Swim co-artistic director with Lara Goodband, says: “We’ve been swept away by the fantastic work that has been produced by the general public as they embrace the joy they have experienced from swimming in the sea.
“Whether making them reflective or elated, the swims have inspired everyone involved. The resulting pop-up exhibition sampling their work, as well as that of talented film-makers, professional writers and textile artists will, I hope, continue to motivate more people to jump in and get involved throughout the summer.”
Lara Goodband will lead off the Big Swim weekend at Scarborough Art Gallery tomorrow, from 10am to noon, by interviewing people about their first memories of swimming.
From 2pm to 4pm, sea swimmer Sarah Peattie will run a Sea Jewels workshop for children aged three to 11, in which they will use sisal string, driftwood, sea glass, shells and stones, all collected locally, to make simple driftwood mobiles and necklaces.
At the Sea Swim headquarters, Beach Huts 237 and 238 at South Bay, the co-artistic directors will play host to Swimming Home, a drop-in session from 2pm to 4pm where you can talk to John and Lara, who will help visitors to trace their way home via all the places they have ever swum. Children aged under 11 must be accompanied by an adult.
On Sunday at South Bay, from midday to 2pm, The Big Swim will provide a chance for everyone to make their debut dip or have a serious swim. Young and old are invited to join regular sea swimmers at the windbreak on the beach below the Clock Café to enjoy the bracing North Sea, followed by refreshments in the beach huts.
At the gallery at 2.30pm, John Wedgwood Clarke will give a poetry reading, perform the Sea Swim manifesto and ask visitors to offer their memories of swimming.
More swims are planned through throughout the summer: Thursday, 11am; August 5, noon, with minnows at 11.30am; August 14, 4.30pm; August 19, noon; August 23, 11am; August 26, 11am, for the television cameras; and September 12, noon, with minnows at 11.30am.
Artist residencies will continue too, with some talks and workshops being drop-in sessions and others requiring booking. For full details, collect a programme from Beach Hut 237, below the Clock Café, or email email@example.com The residency programme will feature sound artist Rob MacKay, July 28 and 29; film-makers David and James Malone, August 4 and 5; architectural glass artist Rachel Welford, August 11 and 12; sound artist Damian Murphy, August 18 and 19; text Artist Adrian Riley, August 25 and 26; and Swimmers in Residence, September 1 and 2.