Snowswimming

2006

In 2006 I was privileged and lucky enough to participate in the MAPS (Master of Arts in the Public Sphere) exchange program in Sierre, Switzerland for approximately 9 months. During this time I learned from many different arts practitioners about making performance art in public spaces. One of the sessions of the program explored the idea of ‘the accident’ and how accidents and chance happenings can sometimes lead to ideas. Inspired by this (and a bit confused and skeptical!) I decided to go out walking with a camera and tripod in search of accidents. On my walk, I reached the top of a small ,hill, and just beyond a forest, I saw a great field of untouched snow, like a blank canvas. I decided I definitely wanted to go there. But there was a fence that I needed to climb over first. So, I climbed over the fence and landed in deep, deep snow up to my chin! I had to literally swim out of the snow.

 

Finally, I found my way to the field of snow. I decided to set my camera up and pretend it was a giant potential swimming pool - which it kind of was - and swim some lengths. I had an audience of paragliders above me. I really enjoyed the experience, so I decided to invite my friends and we created the world's first-ever snowswimming team and swam some lengths up in the mountains.  

Thanks to my fellow snowswimmers and Georges Pfruender for the snowswimming suits and photographs!