Vanessa Daws


For the past 4 years I’ve been working on “Swimming a Long Way Together” – a series of live art events inspired by the 20th century swimmer Mercedes Gleitze. Funded by the Arts Council Open Call Award and Heritage Fund, UK this expansive work has created work with swimming communities in Ireland, NI, the UK and France. Feb 2024 group exhibition Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris. April 2024 Coup de Ville “Artists & Athletes: the hill they climb” WARP, Belgium. “At Home in the Water” has been acquired by The Arts Council of Ireland Collection, 2024. Solo exhibition at Fabrica, Brighton 2023. The Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin 2018/21.


I’m a visual artist and long distance swimmer. My art projects work at the intersection of art, swimming and place. I begin by swimming in the body of water being explored; chatting with local swimmers, people passing by. I ask when is the best time to swim? where are the exit points? and so on, but I’m also interested in the history of swimming in that place, the personal stories. In this way the water and its local community lead my art projects, they kind of go with the flow. I draw, paint, make sculpture, film, sound and live art. Printmaking is a new direction for my drawings to go in.