Sixteen years ago, I wandered down to the Forty Foot to take some pictures of winter swimmers, one of the first swimmers I encountered was Tim; every week that winter I took pictures, building my collection and getting to know Tim and the other hardy swimmers, of which there was very few.
I was going through some personal issues and had just sobered up, so Tim prompted me to give it – swimming – a go. A few months later I took the plunge, and so began my own swimming journey, a now nearly daily addiction.
I’m now coming up to my sixteen year anniversary, I still bring the camera down and continue my study of swimmers and, more importantly, life down at the Forty Foot.
Photographer Barry Delaney reveals what brings himself and fellow misfits to the cold water every day, with the #Dryrobes crowd joining this year…https://t.co/FQgN8FSvnp #fortyfoot@thebaz_dublin @broadsheet_ie @wadeinthewate11 @ggrace1984 @think_or_swim @Patrickttierney
— CassandraVoices (@VoicesCassandra) January 25, 2021
In summers it comes alive, a real life West Side Story; the winter tranquility overtaken by hordes of teenagers observing the end of school traditions; jumping into the Forty Foot in uniforms; posturing and shaping in ther gangs; drinking and flirting – the passage to adulthood.
I exhibited this work last year in the nearby Sandycove Store and Yard, and hope to produce my book next year, on a decade long study of Forty Foot life.
Last winter photographer Barry Delaney developed a sore throat that put him in a state of panic, but the sea around Dun Laoghaire helped him recover his poise.https://t.co/xm2Wzt1BPH@broadsheet_ie @Andrea_Rey48 @IlsaCarter1 @PaulGilgunn @NMcDevitt @CSBlenner @wadeinthewate11
— CassandraVoices (@VoicesCassandra) October 3, 2020
For many years Tim was absent, and last November he rocked up to Sandycove, dived in and then as he emerged from the water, I captured him. He remarked ‘are you not famous yet ?’
Early this summer I submitted this picture to the Zurich Portrait prize. I was pleasantly surprised to hear as the summer ended that this picture – Forty Footer – had been shortlisted for the Portrait prize and will hang in our National Gallery from December.
Barry Delaney travelled deep into America in the wake of Trump's Presidential victory. He shares this precious archive with vivid descriptions.https://t.co/xo5LPiC9tu@broadsheet_ie @MarcKilkennyArc @ConorBlenner @itsmybike @think_or_swim @LumberBob @looplinefilm @NMcDevitt
— CassandraVoices (@VoicesCassandra) July 2, 2020
So I guess I am famous now, thanks Tim, and hopefully will deliver the book ‘Forty Footers’ next year.
Feature Image (c) Barry Delaney.