9 episodes

Welcome to Making a Splash: the arts and culture podcast that celebrates swimming and the sea. Host Amber Butchart is a keen but incredibly unaccomplished sea swimmer, who wants to investigate how swimming and the ocean inspire art, literature, design and culture.
Covering areas including myth & folklore, health & wellness, pop culture, literature, art & design, environment & sustainability and natural history, this is the podcast for everyone who has an affinity with water.
Guests range from circus performers to curators, designers, historians, scientists and writers, who discuss how the sea inspires their work, and share their stories of swimming and open water, including how it impacts their mind and body.
So whether you love to swim or you’re a thalassophile who’s never so much as dipped a toe in the ocean, this is the podcast for you.

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Making a Splash with Amber Butchart Amber Butchart

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 23 Ratings

Welcome to Making a Splash: the arts and culture podcast that celebrates swimming and the sea. Host Amber Butchart is a keen but incredibly unaccomplished sea swimmer, who wants to investigate how swimming and the ocean inspire art, literature, design and culture.
Covering areas including myth & folklore, health & wellness, pop culture, literature, art & design, environment & sustainability and natural history, this is the podcast for everyone who has an affinity with water.
Guests range from circus performers to curators, designers, historians, scientists and writers, who discuss how the sea inspires their work, and share their stories of swimming and open water, including how it impacts their mind and body.
So whether you love to swim or you’re a thalassophile who’s never so much as dipped a toe in the ocean, this is the podcast for you.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Gemma Cairney - Making a Splash

    Gemma Cairney - Making a Splash

    Welcome to the last in the current series of Making a Splash. My guest this week is Gemma Cairney: a broadcaster and author who you may know from her shows on Radio 1 and 6Music, as well as her current TV show Landmark on Sky Arts. Gemma is a devoted sea swimmer who’s currently turning her hand to sustainable swimwear design. 
    Tune in as we discuss the language of the sea, swimming through rainbows, meeting Grace Jones, and the best music to swim to. As well as the magic of swimming in the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool in Margate.
    You can follow Gemma on Twitter and Instagram, and you can find her swimwear project Embodied Swims on Instagram too. And you can catch her TV show here: Landmark on Sky Arts. 
    To find out more about future series, you can follow me on Instagram @AmberButchart, #MakingASplashPod. Thanks for joining me! 
    *Please be aware that cold water swimming can be dangerous. Read and follow the advice at the Outdoor Swimming Society if you are new to it*

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    • 37 min
    Sacha Coward - Making a Splash

    Sacha Coward - Making a Splash

    This week I’m diving into the super interesting history of queer mermaid mythology with Sacha Coward. Sacha is a queer historian, tour guide and escape room designer who has been working at museums and heritage sites across the UK for over a decade. He is also a folklorist with a passion for the hidden histories of mermaids and mythical creatures. At the moment he is working on LGBTQ+ tours along the river Thames with the Brunel Museum as well as developing a series of virtual tours about videogames for the Museum of London. 
    Tune in as we discuss queer mermen hidden in plain sight in central London (Trafalgar Square to be precise), lesser known queer mermaid histories from Hans Christian Andersen to Disney, mermaids in art history, and why the mermaid is such a powerful symbol for the queer community.
    You can follow Sacha on Twitter: @sacha_coward, and you can follow me on Instagram @AmberButchart, #MakingASplashPod to find out more about future guests and episodes.
    *Please be aware that cold water swimming can be dangerous. Read and follow the advice at the Outdoor Swimming Society if you are new to it*

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 40 min
    Ferren Gipson - Making a Splash

    Ferren Gipson - Making a Splash

    This week I’m exploring the cult of swimming in revolutionary China, with Ferren Gipson: art historian, writer, presenter, and a doctoral researcher in Chinese art at SOAS, University of London. Ferren is the host of the Art Matters podcast, and the author of The Ultimate Art Museum, with a forthcoming title for Quarto Publishing on the way.
    Tune in as we discuss the function of rivers and seas in Chinese propaganda poster art, Mao’s cult of swimming and the dawn of the Cultural Revolution, and how the humble dressing gown became an unlikely heroic garment. 
    We also consider how Chinese revolutionary realist art differed from Soviet socialist realism, the stories behind some of the most well known French swimming paintings (or swimming-adjacent paintings), and the pictures from art history you definitely would NOT want to swim in.
    You can follow Ferren on Twitter and Instagram. The art history course mentioned in this week’s show was Art and Revolutionary China, taught by Ferren for Black Blossoms School of Art and Culture - I’d recommend checking out all their courses.
    You can follow me @AmberButchart, #MakingASplashPod to find out more about future guests and episodes, and find some of the images discussed in this episode.
    *Please be aware that cold water swimming can be dangerous. Read and follow the advice at the Outdoor Swimming Society if you are new to it*

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    • 33 min
    Dr Heather Massey - Making a Splash

    Dr Heather Massey - Making a Splash

    This week I’m diving into the science of cold water swimming with Dr Heather Massey, a Senior Lecturer in the Extreme Environments Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth, where she spends a lot of her time researching the science of cold water immersion. She’s published a number of studies that make up some of the nascent scientific research into the benefits of cold water swimming for physical and mental health. 
    Heather LIVES extreme environments as well as studies them, so tune in as we discuss the science behind the post-swim high, swimming the English Channel (for 16 hours!), competing in the International Ice Swimming World Championships, and theories behind the sociological, psychological and physiological benefits of open water swimming. 
    You can follow me @AmberButchart, #MakingASplashPod to find out more about future guests and episodes.
    *Please be aware that cold water swimming can be dangerous. Read and follow the advice at the Outdoor Swimming Society if you are new to it*

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    • 35 min
    Matt Lodder - Making a Splash

    Matt Lodder - Making a Splash

    This week I am exploring maritime tattoos as art history. My guest is Dr Matt Lodder, an art historian and curator who specialises in the history of western tattooing from the 17th century to the present day. He is Senior Lecturer in Art History and Theory, and Director of American Studies at the University of Essex, and his latest major exhibition, ‘British Tattoo Art Revealed’ began at the National Maritime Museum Falmouth in March 2017 and toured through to 2021.
    His book - a history told through tattooing, provisionally titled ‘Indelible’ - will be published by William Collins in 2022. You can find Matt on Twitter and Instagram. 
    Tune in as we discuss a whole host of interesting areas, from the symbolism of folk art and maritime crafts, to the real Sailor Jerry and why the recording and documenting of certain bodies has skewed our understanding of tattoo history. We also discuss swimming outdoors from Essex to Bondi, swimming with Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1920s and why women often drive tattoo stories in the media.
    Mentioned in this week’s episode:
    Find Matt and I exploring tattoos and fashion at the Needle on Skin online course with the National Maritime Museum
    Matt’s exhibition British Tattoo Art Revealed is returning to Falmouth’s Maritime Museum later in 2021. 
    The book, Queering the Subversive Stitch: Men and the Culture of Needlework by Joseph McBrinn is published by Bloomsbury
    You can follow me @AmberButchart, #MakingASplashPod to find out more about future guests and episodes.
    *Please be aware that cold water swimming can be dangerous. Read and follow the advice at the Outdoor Swimming Society if you are new to it*

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 44 min
    FIDM Museum Sporting Fashion - Making a Splash

    FIDM Museum Sporting Fashion - Making a Splash

    This week, one of my favourite topics: the history of swimwear! My guest is Christina Johnson, Associate Curator at the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California. Christina is co-curator of the excellent exhibition, ‘Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960’ along with FIDM Museum Curator Kevin Jones, and is the co-author of the accompanying publication. 
    The traveling show ‘Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960’ was organised by the American Federation of Arts and the FIDM Museum, and is the first exhibition to explore the evolution of women’s sporting attire in western fashion from 1800 to 1960. It features 480 historic objects from the collection of the FIDM Museum. 
    So stay tuned as we discuss the history of swimwear and chat through some of the ensembles in the exhibition, from 18th century sea bathing to the seaside becoming a fashionable space in the mid 19th century, and then the Modernist designs of the 1920s. You can head to my Instagram, @AmberButchart, to see some of the pieces discussed. We also consider California swim culture, swimming in hot mountain springs in the Sequoia National Forest, and why we should most definitely bring back the beach cape….
    You can follow FIDM Museum on Instagram, and find out more about the ‘Sporting Fashion’ touring exhibition here, the 2024 show at FIDM here, and get the fantastic catalogue here. You can find my book, Nautical Chic, here.
    And follow me @AmberButchart, #MakingASplashPod to find out more about future guests and episodes.
    *Please be aware that cold water swimming can be dangerous. Read and follow the advice at the Outdoor Swimming Society if you are new to it*

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Seaside wanderer ,

A must for all whimsical water babies - Love this podcast

Whether you swim, paddle or just search for shells on the beach, this podcast is a joy to listen to. The speakers are varied and interesting, Amber provides friendly chat and inspires you with the interesting topics each show.
Even if you aren’t about to grab your swimming cap and venture into the deep blue, listening to this with a mug of tea is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Un1mpr3553d ,

Like listening to friends

Made me want to slip on my bathers and jump in the nearest body of water! Like listening to friends - effortless and interesting conversation between Amber and her guests.

Rancynyan ,

Wonderful

As to be expected from Amber this podcast is A*

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