In 2006 my favourite pool closed for refurbishment and a friend invited me to swim at Tooting Bec Lido in South London. I loved being outside and my outdoor all year swimming began.
At that time I swam early in the morning, sometimes I had to wait until another early riser arrived to join me, as I found the vast 90 meter pool at Tooting very daunting in the cold.
These paintings have a surreal quality that was induced by swimming in very cold water while having a meditative mantra going in my head. The swims had a dreamlike quality to them and when I got home to the studio and warmed up the paintings flowed easily. They are all informed by swimming through the first winter of 2006. I swam year round at Tooting until 2008.