Robbie Wild Hudson’s project aims to challenge the cliched rose-tinted view of rural life. He is embarking on the extreme physical challenge of swimming the 7.5 mile length of Lake Ullswater, the same place that inspired Wordsworth’s Daffodils poem. He expects this to be an experience that will force him to adapt and alter his perception of the rural environment, expressing himself in numerous large scale drawings on canvas that he will work on during training and after swimming.
The canvases themselves will also have been submerged in water (in the River Eden) and the drawing will be a response to the marks and stains on them made by the rocks, plants and flowing water of the river. The project will highlight the harsher and more extreme sides of rural life, presenting a different reading of the lake recorded whimsically by literature. This is a representation that comes from the inside of the lake and looks outwards, rather than the traditionally inward gaze that comes from standing outside the water on the safety of the shorelines.
Robbie swam the full length of Lake Ullswater on 4th July. The 7.5 mile swim took him six hours through rainstorms and sunshine and concluded with champagne on the stony beach at Pooley Bridge.
Robbie has been working on a series of drawings and paintings that record this experience and they will be exhibited in a solo exhibition at Kendal Museum in April 2015.