The Swimming Pool
Clandestine. Blue. Sparkling and full of promise. The pristine surface of an empty swimming pool is like a sensual invitation. ‘Jump into me,’ it seems to beg. ‘Plunge your body into my depths.’ During a summer of heatwaves, writer and artist Lara Haworth found herself at the poolside surrounded by beach towels and bare flesh. Cooling off from the soaring temperatures, she recalls childhood crushes, Deborah Levy’s iconic novel Swimming Home, and the watery tumult depicted in the film A Bigger Splash. Following these rivulets of desire, she traces the history of public lidos and a cultural lineage of swimming, wondering how bodies of water seem to suggest the erotic. In these communal spaces, where exposed skin drips, young lovers meet and daredevils leap, anything seems possible. With the scent of chlorine and sunscreen perfuming the air, Lara lines her feet up at the pool’s edge and dives in.