Whether swimming offers a form of being, healing, embodiment, or even a wellness tonic, Blue Crush is an exhibition that safely brings you to the water’s edge, compliments you on your choice of swimwear, offers a space on diving board at the lip of the pool, submerges viewers underwater, looks out towards open sea, and reminds us we are all bodies of water.Kerri Flannigan
- Excerpt from the exhibition essay by Shannon Webb-Campbell
Blue Crush looks at sites of swimming as spaces of recreation and leisure, and as contested, and colonized.Swimming has always been political, as Britt Bennett writes in her New York Times Op-Ed “Who Gets to Go to the Pool,” that “water has long been a site of racial anxiety.” Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America, writes about the history of swimming pools: “swimming quickly developed from hygiene-centered into a sporting and leisure activity in the early twentieth century, it quickly became one of the most White-dominated activities.”
is an interdisciplinary artist and educator currently based on Lkwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Territories (Victoria, BC), who experiments with methods of research and storytelling through installation, video, and performance. This work frequently takes a collaborative form, working individually and collectively within a large group to create responses to ubiquitous themes. Family mythologies, coming-of-age confessions, queer experiences of place, fire, and swimming and have all been subjects of recent works.
Flannigan has shown locally and internationally, receiving a Canada Council for the Arts Inter-Arts Grant and BC Arts Council Media Arts Grant in 2020, a BC Arts Council Visual Arts Grant in 2022, and the Best English Zine at the Expozine Awards (2011 and 2014).