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The Big Swim
About the artwork

The Big Swim was an immersive and playful light installation where participants interacted and experienced swimming in a cloud of light and colour in a public pool. Coloured clouds hovered over the water and as the outside light faded, the colours changed inside and the coloured clouds of mist became more and more visible, creating a unique live experience.

The vision for the installation was to create a painting that the audience could dive into. Tine looked at paintings by Rothko, planning and creating the installation as a massive immersive painting that participants could swim in.

Created as part of the Cultural Olympiad ahead of the 2012 Games in London, the project promoted local community interest in swimming. The project was intentionally accessible and transformed familiar surroundings through a captivating community experience. The event was free and, at Camberwell Leisure Centre and the balcony was open for non-swimmers.

The Big Swim was awarded the Inspire Mark, a 2012 Olympic initiative, which was a community and participatory programme that enabled non-commercial organisations across the UK to link their events and projects to the London 2012 Games.

It was supported by the Creative Campus Initiative (CCI), a HEFCE funded programme that created community and public art events as part of the London, 2012 Cultural Olympiad.


The Big Swim was part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and was awarded the London 2012’s Inspire Mark.

The project took place at:
Camberwell Leisure Centre, London.
Barton Leisure Centre, Oxford.

What people said

“Seriously beautiful” This Summer hit is Tine Bech’s Big Swim project. Have a look at the lovely video of folks swimming in the unique colour mists that Tine created for the work. A triumph of health and safety.
-Professor Jon Dovey, Digital Culture Research Centre.

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