I can hardly believe that in just 10 days there will be six beautiful bathing machines dotted around Brighton bringing to life a dream, an idea, an ideal started just over a year ago. There will be time to digest how the whole project works, but for the moment I would like to gasp deeply and acknowledge the journey so far and especially those who have contributed so, so much.
For my part, it is one thing to have an idea – it is quite another to harness the talents of so many in order to make that a reality. There are so many talented people working tirelessly and generously, to make six wooden sheds on wheels splendidly magical experiences.
In no particular order – it takes a special person to have the idea, the mad idea…and then suggest it as not only feasible but uniquely apt for the ‘other’ project we were looking to respond to. David Sheppeard was that visionary. The man who had the audacity to say ‘This is what we should do’. Thank you David for starting us off on such an adventure.
Then the team assembled. Trusted professionals who also saw the potential to create some real landmarks for Brighton – Firstly, and most closely Kate Gowar, my friend and mind reader, as the ever positive and practical mind who saw precisely how to make it happen and who else we needed; Janine Fletcher who jumped up and dived in; our partners at Brighton Fringe who stepped out of a tradition and supported a singel project (mind you, who wouldn’t!); Faith Dodkins who has been a picture of efficiency and calm when all around her…well you know how it goes!; Greg Mickelborough who has already erected 14 bathing machines in eight different sites before we have properly started and is still enthusiastic; Liberty Martin who has lead, with a tireless smile and enthusiasm, on keeping us all informed of what has been happening where and how (and got me to blog!); Paul Farringdon who gave us a memorable logo and web; Alice Booth, Craig Mathewson and Lesley Wood who have strived to find our extra funding; and Eddie Crowther and his team who built our precious babies with vigour and no little bemusement. And that is just the producing team!
The real accolades, though, will, and should, go to all the artists and their creative teams who have had the vision to take an off the wall idea and make something really special to inhabit each bathing machine. To make it truly their own. To live with their own ideas. To battle with those ideas, because performing art is not always a stroll through the theatrical park, and come out the other end with works which have become part of their machines.
I am so excited to see them all adorning the streets of Brighton. Each a world to discover be that for five, ten, 20 or 60 minutes. I am so proud, too, of all the above and so many more who have boldly gone where angels feared to tread and create (and indeed recreate) a little bit of Brighton history.
From the sea – an inspiration and beautiful small world reality.