CRYPT SWIMMING 2012
Site specific video installation created for the Crypt Gallery at St. Pancras Church, London. Shown as part of the RESONANCE exhibition.
A wax portal was fitted into the wall dividing the gallery from the disused half of the building. The work was viewed by peering through the portal. The film replicated the architecture of the crypt and projection was situated so that the perspective and scale perfectly matched that of the viewer.
As a child my saturday mornings were regularly spent at the town swimming baths, playing games, racing, diving and generally mucking about with friends. The memory of those times would not be complete without the accompanying figure of a lone swimmer.
It was like clockwork. As soon as we'd settled ourselves in the water the changing room door would squeak open and a solitary elderly man would walk slowly along to the ladder and descend into the water. He'd swim a lovely slow even stroke up and down length after length, completely oblivious to our antics. It was as if we didn't exist. Eventually he'd pull himself out of the water and plod back to the changing rooms. There would be a brief pause and another elderly man would emerge and the whole cycle would repeat itself.
Although I never knew who any of these characters were I always found their presence strangely comforting and over the years they have become a metaphor for the continuum of life.
I'd like to thank Robin Hunter, for helping to make this piece possible by generously allowing me to film him swimming in the Serpentine on a cold March morning. Robin swims in the open air, every day, all year round.