NEWQUAY NAKAZORA - Work in Progress (2021)

Coldwater immersion is a transitional psychophysiological resolution from the pressures and logic of the land. Fusion between humans and nature is reciprocal; as swimmers enter the ocean they submit to its liminal spatial-temporal weightlessness.

Nakazora derives from a Buddhist concept which describes varied states of philosophical in-betweenness - a ‘floating’ liminal zone between the earth and sky. The work juxtaposes cold-water bathers, in my home town of Newquay, with metaphorical images of nature to narrate a theme of liminality in connection to the concept of ‘shizen ni jūjun nar’ (submission to nature).

Cold-water immersion invokes a shock response, similar to the well-known fight or flight response - resilience learnt through this confrontation is cross-adaptive into daily life and can bring lasting emotional change to the brains’ neuroplasticity. As participants transition through the shock response, the blood is flooded with hormones activating a sense of temporary euphoria.