An exhibition of paintings celebrating the joys of open water swimming comes to Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre next month.
Each painting by Andrea Hall – herself an open water swimmer – features a tiny rubber duck.
Andrea says: “If you’re wondering why every piece of my artwork features a rubber duck hiding somewhere in it, let me introduce you: Ducky is a thermometer and my long-time open water swim buddy. He tells me the temperature of the water, which is a bit of an obsession to open water swimmers – a bit like the weather to the British.
“I come from a swimming background, but hadn’t swam for decades, when I was inspired by watching the marathon 10k swim during London 2012. At that point I was very overweight and inactive and I famously said to my partner: ‘I could’ve done that when I was younger’.
“It was a lightbulb moment that kicked off my passion for the open water. Fast forward to 2018, and after 30 years working as a graphic designer I felt inspired by one of the places I swim at to start painting the view from the water and to try and portray the feeling of both freedom and vulnerability it gives me.
“The sport is really growing at the moment and there’s a huge emphasis on it being great for mental health too.”
Tadcaster-based Andrea is a professional artist and designer. Fascinated by drawing since childhood, she turned five years of art and design study into a successful career as a commercial designer for national and international business.
Inspired to return to swimming by London 2012, Andrea now combines her passion for painting with her relish for the open water, resulting in artwork that comes straight from the heart.
Open Water can be seen in the gallery at the SJT from Monday 2 September to Saturday 26 October. The gallery is open from 10am to 6pm, Mondays to Saturdays, except during show times (mostly evenings, but some afternoons: please check the website before travelling). Entry is free.