Saturday, 5 February 2011

Art and The English Channel

I obtained a copy of this booklet last year sometime and thought I would share it with the more artistically minded amongst you, nice little project for a worthy cause. Thanks for your efforts and contribution Jen.

Swimming The Channel... Jenny Rice Graphic Design

The tide, weather and the speed of the swimmer all determine the course that a swimmer will take across the 21 miles of sea between England and France. A series of sculptures based upon the course of different Channel swims were photographed at Dover Harbour. These photographs formed a publication that was available to all the swimmers involved in the project and the potential Channel swimmers who started their training at Dover.

The booklets are for sale for £12 (£14 inc. P&P) with £5 per copy going to the Swim Loch Ness charity, Afghan Mother and Child Rescue.

If you would like a copy of the book, please email

Update from Jenny.
A few words on my Channel project:

I began this project after seeing the Serpentine Ladies relay team Channel chart - they missed the Cap and ended up getting swept so far down the west coast they actually went off the chart. I spoke to Nick Adams and he helpfully showed me all the charts he had from both his swims and other teams he had been involved with. People on the Channel chat group also sent me their charts after Nick emailed them about my work so I built up a substantial collection of charts from the world record through to Lisa Cummins' 35 hour two way swim.

The difficulty for me was to produce something that moved things on from the beautiful admiralty charts. Initially my ideas remained flat and 2D - but as soon as I started working with the map in a 3 dimensional way I got a lot more excited about the project. Once the final sculptures were made, I took them down to Dover on the first weekend of Channel training to photograph. The weather was perfect - grey and drizzly - and I spent a couple of hours before my swim taking pictures of them in the sand, in the water, against the sky and on the rocks. It all came together beautifully. Some of the swimmers whose charts I had used were there that weekend to see what I had been working on and why I'd been sending nagging emails asking for all their details.

I had no plans to make the book, it was suggested by one of my tutors, and as that developed I realised it could be something that could be sold and link back to one of the swims. The Serpentine Ladies relay team (whose chart I used) had swum the Channel in 2008 in aid of Afghan Mother and Child Rescue, a small charity with one of it's Patrons being a Serpentine swimmer. That summer the team had reformed with a couple of different swimmers (including myself) and we were planning to swim the length of Loch Ness for the same charity (we completed the swim in August, in 13 hours and 23 minutes). Sales of the booklet have so far have added a modest £100 to our total (around £7000 which is going towards building a hospital purely for women and children in the remote Panjsher valley in Afghanistan).

I do still have copies left, so please contact me if you would like one. For further information here are some links -

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