Wild swimming now has an illustrated guide

12th July, 2017

Stained Glass Artist and swimmer Flora Jamieson has just launched an illustrated book aimed at introducing people to wild swimming.

The book, Wild Swimming: An Introduction to Swimming Outdoors is written by Flora and illustrated by Gemma Koomen. It is a short guide aimed at the novice swimmer containing practical tips and how to find places to swim. “The idea for the project came (as they often do) in the middle of the night,” says Flora. “I had been invited to give a talk on wild swimming at Sisterhood Camp, a creative retreat for women held annually. As part of the talk, I wanted to produce a short fact sheet with some key points on it, but I couldn’t find the enthusiasm to sit down and write it – it just felt so dry and dull, and didn’t capture the magic I felt when swimming that I wanted to share with others.”

Around the same time as Flora prepared for Camp, she discovered Gemma’s artwork on Instagram and felt a connection to it. “Her painting of two children riding on a swan’s back really spoke to me,” says Flora. “The image was so similar to a daydream I used to have as a child, a go-to mental image when I couldn’t fall asleep or needed reassurance. I would picture myself floating down a river on the soft down of a swan’s back.” It was this image that spurred her on to turn her fact sheet into an illustrated guide to portray the beauty of bathing in nature and approach Gemma to support it.

The first 40 copies of the 250 books were given to women at the Sisterhood Camp after a talk from Flora and a swim in the River Teiti. The remaining copies are available for sale in Flora’s online shop or they are being stocked by The Future Kept.