The Story of Brightlingsea Lido

In 2023 I joined artist Becky Jackson and author Ruth Loten as part of the creative team at Brightlingsea Lido. Our aim is to engage with the community to celebrate the Lido and respond to it whilst making art.

Local author Ruth Loten wrote a story to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Lido in 2022. We decided to create a visual response to Ruth’s story and the history of the Lido.

Early in 2023 we planned and delivered five workshops with diverse participants. Our groups included: The Brownies, The Primary School, Lido Volunteers, Mending Matters and the General Public.

The workshops were a huge success and the participants made some stunning images. Then it was over to Becky and myself to turn them into finished mixed media paintings. We carefully cut out all the images and assembled them onto canvas adding backgrounds and small details. We also included the names of each artist in the work so that they would be celebrated.

Workshop at the Lido cafe with members of the public
Images created and cut out
We collaged all of the images together to make this fabulous painting celebrating 90 years of the Lido
Becky Jackson and Chrissie Richards in front of one of the finished paintings

I received my first public grant

Essex County Council logo

In 2024 I received a grant from The Essex County Council Arts and Cultural Fund which supports organisations and creative practitioners to deliver a broad and exciting range of work and activity to engage with and bring communities in Essex together. Receiving this grant means we can now run five more work shops with community groups in Brightlingsea together with the general public. The project will conclude with the permanent display of ten new artworks around the perimeter of the lido.

As the last remaining lido in Essex, the project will respond to its unique 90-year history, as described in a new story by author Ruth Loten. This story will provide the basis for the project, with each workshop and artwork responding to specific event or time in the history of the lido.

You can read more about the Arts and Cultural Fund and other recipients here.