The project, IMMERSED 2021, has been funded by Arts Council England (ACE) and sponsored by Adur & Worthing Trust (AWT).
It is the brainchild of Katie Sollohub, an artist living in the town, who has a passion for sea swimming.
She said: “For the last three years I have been swimming all year round, though I have been swimming in the sea the rest of the year for a lot longer.
“Something about winter swimming though is different. More urgent, more addictive.
“Since Covid, I have noticed many more people taking to the sea for cold dips, whether for mental or physical health reasons, and I wanted to know who these people are, using my art practice as an excuse to sit and chat with them.”
So far, Katie has painted portraits of 66 swimmers. She said she has met some wonderful and diverse people, who all swim for similar reasons – namely that it feels fantastic, and once you do it, you cannot stop.
The portraits have been on display in the window of the Neighbourhood Store in Shoreham High Street.
Katie now hopes to take the exhibition to other interesting coastal venues, both art and non-art related.
This stage of the project finishes at the end of July, she confirmed, but she said is already in the process of planning Immersed part 2 for next winter.
Find out more about Katie’s work at www.katiesollohub.co.uk. Or follow her on Instagram and Facebook: @katiesollohub.