A guest blog from Shon Dale-Jones, Artistic Director of Hoipolloi
On Sunday, 14 August 2011, Hugh Hughes set off on what he calculates will be a 99-day swim to Australia. Before he left, none of us were sure how this adventure would work out. Hugh asked us here at Hoipolloi to keep it quiet until he was a good fortnight into the swim before announcing his effort.
He was keen to get past the troubled area of the Libyan Sea without too much attention, for obvious reasons. And today, on Day 74 of the journey, I am free to tell you that Hugh has made very good progress, has passed through the Suez Canal and is now in the Red Sea.
Those of you who know Hugh Hughes and his work will understand Hugh’s commitment to projects and his passion for experiencing life to its full. However, I am sure that many of you, like myself, will be astounded in the first instance by this marathon that he has set himself and wonder what it is about.
This is what Hugh has to say:
“When I first went to Australia at the beginning of 2009 to present Hugh Hughes in… Floating at the Sydney Opera House I was surprised to meet a long lost family member. It was a fantastic experience to meet a stranger who was also a cousin.
It was incredible to simultaneously feel an average distance to another human being and an extraordinary intimacy. I’d never had this feeling for someone before. I’d never encountered this feeling of space. We spent some time together piecing together our shared history and searching for the cracks that separated us and our families.
Since then, over the last two years or so, I’ve wondered about this meeting and this story we held between us. I realised the story stretched from the shores of Anglesey to the shores of New South Wales, Australia. And that’s when I realised that one way to understand this relationship was to swim the distance of it. And so, #swim2oz was created…”
Hugh Hughes hopes to discover something of this personal and universal story of immigration through this marathon swim of over 11,350 nautical miles. He hopes that he will discover something within the narrative that he can share, something that will push through story and lie within real experience.
When Hugh arrives in Australia, he’ll be returning to Sydney Opera House to perform Story of a Rabbit. All being well, he’ll arrive in time for the first performance on 29 November.
Ladies and gentlemen, we here at Hoipolloi are proud to support Hugh Hughes on this colossal adventure and welcome you to…#swim2oz