Waiting to Swim

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Oil on canvas

h: 80 w: 60 d: 3 (cms).

Waiting to Swim was painted during the summer of 2020 as I waited to be allowed back to swim in Hampstead ponds after lockdown. The two figures are lined up side by side, perhaps against a wall as they wait their turn, bathed in sunshine, long and loose-limbed, poised and expectant. Swimming imagined here as elegance and glamour, the calm transcendence of as summer excursion, not the thrashing, gasping exhilaration of a winter dip. 

I painted in oil mixed with linseed to allow free, loose and relaxed marks on the canvas, a slightly washed out palette hinting at a period setting and detail on their bodies allowing interplay with the shadow and sunlight. They share the frame and the same plane; their costumes might have been bought from the same store. But the distance between their bodies could be that of respectful strangers or a hint at a story of intimacy and mystery; either way their relationship and story remains ours to imagine.


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