Current artist in residence
Image Tony O' Driscoll
Vanessa is a visual artist and avid open water swimmer based in Dublin. Vanessa’s art practice explores place through swimming. ‘Place’ being the watery spaces navigated and swam through, the surrounding littoral space and the social spaces created by this shared activity. Vanessa is interested in why we swim, and how through acclimatisation and adaption we can surprise ourselves and go beyond our expectations.
On September 6th 2016 Vanessa Daws became the first person to swim around Lambay Island in Dublin Bay. This 8k circumnavigational swim took 3.17 hours and was the third and final swim in her project “The Lambay Swim Trilogy”, a series of swims to, about and around Lambay Island. Vanessa uses swimming, conversation, video, sound recordings and drawings to create installation and live art events.
Vanessa has been selected for a 2017 Project Studio in TBGS and has recently been awarded the Docklands Small Grants Award 2017. Vanessa has just finished a Fingal Arts studio residency in Loughshinny Boathouse and prior to that a two month Digital Art Residency at the Fire Station Studios. In 2015 Vanessa was selected for the UCD Art in Science Residency and was given the Neville Johnson Award as part of this residency. Vanessa was a recipient of the Artist in the Community Award from the Arts Council of Ireland & Create in 2013 where she collaborated with the sea swimming community from Malahide, Co Dublin.
Vanessa’s swim projects have taken place in watery spaces as diverse as the frozen Pirita River in Estonia, The President’s Fountain in Bulgaria, the Pacific Ocean, The River Liffey, Trafalgar Square, The Rideau Canal in Canada, The UCD Lake, the Dublin M50 Aqueduct to the Bogs of Ballycroy in Co Mayo.