The Swimmer

Swimming. Water and life. How this piece started...

Between 2011 and 2014 my familiar world had been whipped out from under me, shaken me out and hung me upside down to air out. I was back and forth from the US to New Zealand, looking out for my Mum after she had a big stroke, and retraining with science courses through Massey University. During the travel and study time I was painting for sanity and just for painting's sake - fairly intense. I was more in touch with my art-self, and had taken an interesting segue into the world of pharmacy, but I was still re-connecting with how it all melded together again.

Job, family, loved ones, kids, direction, which side of the Earth am I standing on. You know when priorities and values slap you in the face and give you a good talking to? I came back looking a little haggard but feeling 10,000 times more who I can be. I have much more of an appreciation of family, connections and how our connections need to be respected, looked after. I know I need to keep doing my crazy best to be my crazy best me in the world. Even if I don't manage to be brave and strong all the time, I need to keep going in the right direction.

In New Zealand I was diagnosed with Akylosing Spondylitis - which showed me I have a choice: use it or fuse it. Exercise, or have my body try to slowly weld itself together. I discovered that I am quite keen on making the most of all the able-bodied time I have left to me. Being able-bodied is temporary for all of us - we often just don't realize until it's too late. I got a second chance. Hell's Bells - life isn't over... I plan to make an effort and live it!

My regular stretch routine is darn boring, though, so I started swimming as well. With some help from Google and Gabby at Wells park (Hi Gaby!). And came back to Art, murals & finishes shortly after that. I was still working on getting from one end of the pool to the other without panicking while I was experimenting with bringing together faux finishing materials and my arty tendencies. So I painted the Swimmer at the same time as I was painting samples for interiors designers.

Lots of lovely Goop!




Yup, a fair bit of feeling and processing went into the Swimmer... reaching out for new realities, melding together different textures & ways of being, an appreciation of being physical. Visually there is the overlay of the swimmer: me, the human, the person; who floats over all of it, moves thru it, gets a bit lost in it, is defined by it. A kind of "water is life" thing, water being the "it".


I've managed to get to a nice steady swimming pace without the panic, and I'm even getting the hang of doing those flippy things to turn around between laps. I am hugely excited about several art projects I'm currently working on and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you. This new website is highly exciting with the options of different media and sizes of reproductions... I have a pipeline for artwork, it's like a whole lane of my own to swim in!