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An Ode to the Sea

27th September 2023 @ 6:00 pm 10:00 pm

An Ode to the Sea


£5, £2.50 students

About us

Please join us to hear how architects, writers, researchers, and artists have all drawn inspiration from the sea, and more specifically Firestone Bay.

Book launch

The evening brings together architect Chris Romer-Lee to discuss his new book, ‘Sea Pools’ with Sophie Pierce, author of the popular Wild Swimming books. Chris begins with an introduction to sea pools within the history of outdoor swimming, their unique designs and architectural significance and commentary on the resurgent appreciation for sea swimming in the 21st century. Chris selects 66 of the most beautiful and culturally significant sea pools from around the world including Firestone Bay.

Chris Romer-Lee is the co-founder of the architecture practice Studio Octopi. Chris was splashing around in Lake Zurich when the idea for re-introducing swimming in the Thames was conceived as Thames Baths CIC. Now the practice is leading the way in developing ideas for the increased recreational use of the river Thames. Since 2013 Chris has spoken at TEDx KPMG, Centre for London 2015 Conference, Somerset House, V&A for London Design Festival and many more. Chris lives in London and teaches at London School of Architecture (LSA).

Sophie Pierce was a radio and TV reporter for BBC South West for many years, and also wrote features for national newspapers including the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian. Her main focus now is writing, where she is exploring ideas around our relationship with the natural world. She is the author of four books about wild swimming, with a fifth coming out in Spring 2024. Her memoir, The Green Hill, explores our emotional connection with water and other natural landscapes.

Research roundup

Linda Ward will introduce a new film poem, recorded in part at Firestone Bay, where much of her doctoral film and photographic research is located.

Dr Sally Sutton will show a short video exploring the ‘Right to Water: Public Space or Private Asset’.

Dr Eva McGrath will present alongside her exhibition Immersion: Voices of Plymouth Sea Swimmers, Firestone Bay.

Dr Kass Gibson and Ellie Rickets: ‘Exploring into the Blue – a deep dive into swimming with cancer’.

The evening will also include a panel discussion between the contributors, chaired by Dr Zoe Latham, architecture.

18:00 – 19:00 Research roundup
19:15 – 20:00 Chris Romer-Lee and Sophie Pierce

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