Each individual will experience the sea differently. The sea, with all her great powers, can fill those connected with it with great calm, energy and power. For some it brings a lifeline, and for others, an escapism. However, she can bring great perils with her ever powerful force, and so for those who live at her mercy, she must therefore be shown tremendous respect.
As an island nation, we are blessed to be close to the sea wherever we may be. Our seas unify us as a planet and together as a nation. The area between the sea and the land is used by many of us for trading and recreation, known to release endorphins to those who experience it. In To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf writes‘so that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again…’ She talks of the sea being echoing and constant, a meditative sensation, with powers to bring tranquillity.Open water swimming is renowned to help with depression and other mental illnesses, whilst sea-based activities act as a mental and physical escapism to our modern day lives.
I have never lived more than a half an hour drive away from the sea, with it being a large part of my growing up and moving away from home. Through this project, I explore our relationship to the sea as an island nation in sections of living, rescue, industry, fishing, open water swimmers and surfers.