Brighton VIC 3186
Swim: 8.30am – 9am
Function: 9am – 10am
Blue is a free, public event run by and for ocean enthusiasts. Blue is an event initiated by artist and cold water swimmer, Kit Wise. Blue will share histories, dreams and stories, generate meaningful conversations around health and wellbeing and new connections for audience members.
Blue is a pop-up event that celebrates the restorative abilities of wild swimming. Held as part of the Big Anxiety Festival, the event showcases our relationship with the waters of Naarm or Port Philip Bay and the healing power of the ocean.
Blue will consist of a “dip and dash” taster event, as well as a guided swim for more experienced ocean swimmers. It will be followed by an informal talk on the history and benefits of ocean water swimming, advice for those interested in pursuing further and conversations about all things aquatic.
Kit Wise is a Professor of Fine Art and Dean of the School of Art at RMIT University. He is represented by Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne. As an academic, his work includes interdisciplinary approaches to education and research, which has led to projects that connect art, science and wellbeing. He is also passionate about Open Water swimming and has published on the topic in academic journals as well as sports magazines.
A recovering Brighton Iceberger although originally a UK county champion 400m runner, Kit entered the 900m Peter Mac Ocean Swim in 2007 to get fit again and nearly drowned. This sparked his love for open water swimming and all things blue. He has developed a number of water-based events as an artist as well as a swimmer, including for MONA and Melbourne’s The Longest Lunch. Kit is based in Melbourne and Kettering, Tasmania, where the water is really cold.
Ocean swimming is also well documented by First Nations around the world, often with special significance for women. Established as an Olympic event in 2008, wild swimming has been one of the fastest growing sports of the last decade, with even more taking to the open water during COVID. In recent years, scientists have found increasingly compelling evidence on the physiological and psychological health benefits; while media attention has brought ice swimming to global interest as spectacle, as well as a call to climate action.
To participate, the only additional requirement is to wear something blue to the event and in the water.
Further details and a consent form will be shared prior to the Big Anxiety Festival.