In September 2010 Tim Bowditch made a documentary film about Guernsey’s La Vallette Bathing Pools called ‘Firedive’ with support from the Guernsey Arts Commission.
The film describes the island’s collective memory of the pools, focusing on the floodlit galas and ‘fire dives’ that once made the pools a central part of the local community.
On Saturday 20th of August 2011 the history of the pools will be commemorated with an evening of swimming marking the 125th Anniversary of the Guernsey Swimming Club.
This will be followed by an outdoor poolside screening of Firedive at La Vallette Bathing Pools.
Guernsey Swimming Club members will brave the seawater and take part in swimming races between 6 and 9pm. After the sun goes down a procession of torches will take place signaling the premiere of Firedive in a special poolside screening.
A series of additional videos made during the filming of Firedive in September 2010 will be on display in the changing room at La Vallette for the night.
The nighttime screening and gala aims to populate the pools as they once were, inviting a younger generation to partake in the history of the outdoor bathing pools. Three artists will be invited to the island to document the event and add to the archive about the pools. The work they make will be exhibited in a show curated by Bowditch at the the greenhouse the following year.
The Firedive project is supported by the Guernsey Arts Commission and the gala and screening is backed by Guernsey Swimming Club.
Joanna Littlejohns, the Guernsey Arts Commission’s Head of Arts Development, says: “The Guernsey Arts Commission is delighted to be supporting Tim Bowditch in this ambitious project which puts the spotlight, once again, on the La Vallette Bathing Pools by both revisiting the Swimming Galas of old and presenting a thoroughly contemporary take through the premiere screening of Firedive. Tim, a photographer currently based in London, grew up in Guernsey and has been exhibited widely over the last few years. The GAC is happy to support the development of this project with the aim that the third part of the project will be an exhibition in the greenhouse.”