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Jo Chapman

Breathe 2021

Hadleigh Pool and Leisure Centre, Suffolk

Commissioner: Babergh District Council

Completion due summer 2021 (delayed due to Covid)

Commissioned to design a brise soleil for new Hadleigh Pool and Leisure Centre that was both functional and appealing for both residents and visitors alike.The 20m long sunscreen is printed onto aluminium panels.

The artwork was developed from drawings made in community art workshops with St Mary’s Primary School, Hadleigh Dementia Action Alliance, and Hadleigh High School. The groups created drawings and watercolour paintings, focusing on the themes of wellbeing, exercise, mind and body, and the environment. The words WALK LISTEN BALANCE RUN JUMP WATCH SWIM CYCLE DIVE BREATHE are inspired by the illustrations in their artwork.

The artwork also references the work of local artist and plantsman Cedris Morris, who lived at Benton End, Hadleigh. Cedric Morris was pivotal in the establishing the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing. The background for the artwork uses colours inspired by his paintings with their use of blues, lilacs, rusts, browns, and the abstracted, flattened planes of colour.

The final design was developed from drawings of water and the patterns made from splashes combined with the drawings from the workshops muted in the background.

The text used is to show the importance of exercise and activity in wellbeing.  Jo selected words inspired by the drawings the children made, so each word refers to an activity they drew. The text is linked to activities at the Leisure Centre but also a wider reference to the wellbeing of mind and body.

The whole artwork hopefully creates a feeling of calm and flow.

Their new skills and creativity are what inspired the final design you see along the pool’s windows today.Benton End in the town, and played an important role in establishing the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing.The sunshade will provide a feeling of calm (as well as shade in the summer) for everyone enjoying the pool.