April 30, 2020

Do “blue spaces” make us happy?

Rosemary Everett, 56

How, and why, do we connect with the outdoors to sustain our health? It’s water that calls to me – I’ve lived by lakes and rivers and am happiest at sea or on the beach. My artistic practice connected into this after reading a Guardian article in November 2019 about research into the benefits of being by water. It introduced me to the idea of “blue spaces”. I hadn’t consciously known the term before, although our notion of “green spaces” is mainstream. Reflecting on their meaning to me, I realised how key blue spaces are to my well-being and fulfilment, giving perspective and pleasure. But who else does this work for? To seek answers, I made an artists’ book, something sculptural and immersive to evoke nearness to the sea and invite readers to explore blue, watery happinesses. As the reader opens and reveals the book’s parts, they navigate their way down through printed waves to the sea bed. Pieces of nautical chart aid the reader to pilot their way; four little photo books inside a box are themed to the compass points. At the same time, metaphorically, the reader journeys through life, to reach a blue space / happy place.

Blue Space, 2020Artists' Book20 x 20 x 10 cms (closed); 40 x 60 x 8 cms (open)