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Vanessa Daws

From Openwaterpedia

Vanessa Daws is a visual artist and open water swimmer who lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her art practice explores place through swimming; swimming as research, process and live event. Daws has always swum, not competitively, or for particularly long distances; but when passing a body of water, be it pond, lake, river or sea, she usually takes a quick open water swim.

Open Water Swimming Career[edit]

  • On 19 September 2018, she 10 hours 22 minutes 16 seconds across Lough Mask, Ireland.
  • She completed a 12.5 km swim from Sutton Strand around Howth Head, Burrow Beach on 30 August 2020.
  • On 6 September 2016, she became the first person to circumnavigate Lambay Island in Dublin Bay, Ireland. This was the third swim in her art project The Lambay Swim Trilogy. The Lambay Swim Trilogy are three open water swims that have been made into film and sound work, publications and live events. Daws is currently working on a final installation for this 3-year art project.
  • Daws recently created art swim projects in watery spaces as diverse as the frozen Pirita River, Estonia; the Rideau Canal, Canada; The President’s Fountain, Bulgaria; the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara; UCD Lake, Dublin; the M50 Aqueduct, Dublin and the bogs of Ballycroy, Co Mayo.
  • Daws calls her art practice ‘Psychoswimography’. The word ‘swim’ added to Psychogeography shifts the meaning from a terrestrial drifting to a watery drifting and re-imagining of place. ‘Place’ being the watery spaces navigated and swam through, the surrounding littoral space and the social spaces created by this shared activity.
  • Daws has escaped from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California and Spike Island in Co Cork
  • Daws took part in a successful English Channel relay in 2015 with team Allez Les Verts
  • Daws is an active member of the Leinster Swim Community in Dublin
  • Daws has participated in Ned Denison's Cork Distance Week in Co Cork, Ireland where she has been filming the races and swims for the past five years. These videos she calls "Swimfilms" and while they are not artworks, the films do serve as part of her swim research and contribute to her swimming art practice.
  • Daws was nominated for the 2016 Leinster Open Water Swimmer of the Year Award by the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association.
  • Daws participated in the 2017 Cork Distance Week in Cork, Ireland and then competed in the Lough Erne 25 km marathon swim.

Artistic Career[edit]

  • Daws swimming art projects can be seen on Vanessa Daws
  • Since 2009, she has had seven solo exhibitions at various Art Centers around Ireland along with a three-month Artist Residency at Kilkenny Arts Office 2010
  • Daws has been the recipient of many art awards, bursaries and residencies
  • Daws has presented her swim art practice at international conferences.
  • Daws was awarded the Business to Arts Docklands grant to work on a swim project in Dublin’s Docklands in 2016
  • Daws was selected for the Nevill Johnson Award as part of a year long art residency at UCD Art in Science in 2015
  • Daws was given the Artist in the Community Award from the Arts Council of Ireland & Create in 2013 to collaborate with the sea swimming community from Malahide, Co Dublin

Escape from Spike Island[edit]

Eastern Bay Invitational International Ice Mile Swim[edit]

Psychoswimography: Santa Barbara[edit]

Urban Swimming[edit]

2016 Dublin City Liffey Swim[edit]

Allez Les Verts English Channel Relay 2015[edit]

2015 O'Connell Bridge Jump for Cystic Fibrosis, Dublin[edit]

External links[edit]