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Swim in the rain

This painting was exhibited inside the Ynysangharad Park noticeboard opposite the playground and Lido. The painting itself is looking towards the Lido, which Maggie says is her favourite place.

This painting was exhibited between 7th - 9th May 2021. 

You can listen to the accompanying audio access resource below.


Transcript of the audio resource

The painting in front of you is made using acrylic paint and oil pens on a wooden plaque, measuring 30cm wide, 22.5cm high and 1.5cm deep. The edges of the plaque are bevelled and painted black. 

The painting is abstract, made up of many colourful layers, and across the middle is a band of white with cursive black letters spelling out the phrase “Swim in the rain”. 

The main colour in this painting is green in varying shades. The background looks like waves within the ocean, mixing in deep teal shades with an almost white apple green and everything in between.

The top left is the darkest area of the painting, with the paler edges being at the bottom. Within this current of watery colours are white, black, purple, red and silver dots and tiny circles. 

In the upper half there are red blobs with white and black inside them, floating around on the waves. 

In the centre, beneath the white band you can see purple and red shapes peaking out as well as black and shining silver swirls twirling in all directions. 

The white banner featuring the lettering is crisp and clean in contrast, allowing the words to really stand out. 

Keep listening to hear more about the painting in front of you.

This piece was created with Maggie. Her favourite place is the Lido and her words of wisdom are: "Swim in the rain". 

Maggie: "I think it was when it first opened, and it was absolutely chocka with all these people. And my own issues are about my weight, so I don't want to be seen, in, you know, in a swimming costume. So I had this idea cos I thought well it’s going to be warm in there whatever the weather, so I decided to take him when it was raining. There was hardly anybody in, so that was a big plus. It was just… it was just… there was no restrictions on whether we had to stay an hour, we could stay however long we wanted. We stayed until we were like prunes and it was just great cos we were in the water and you couldn’t feel the rain at all."

Her favourite colour is green - any shade of it, but particularly emerald green. To help me choose the colours for my paintings I have created a language where colours have meanings. Where I've equated green with growth - which is perfect for Maggie and the period of personal growth she’s experiencing right now. She, like me, enjoys a lot of colour and shared that she loves it when colours clash. During our session I painted the background of the plaque in different shades of green, adding layers and movement as Maggie talked about swimming in the rain and how it made her feel. 

Maggie: "I really really loved it, I thought, why don't I do this more often? It’s so good for the soul."

The artwork she created was so strong and powerful, it was a self portrait of that memory. In it she’s wearing a bright red swimsuit, and has her arms held up towards the sky in defiance. We talked about this and how in her memory the colours are all different to what they were in real life - they’re bolder, stronger. 

Using my colour language I added reds to my painting - not only to symbolise the imagined bright red swimsuit, but because red means strength, something Maggie has in abundance. I worked in purples to reflect her recent exploration of her spiritual side, as well as black and silver, to reflect the fact that Maggie is kind and puts others first… but she’s absolutely a powerful force to be reckoned with. 

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