14 imagesThe North Channel is considered the most challenging channel swim in the world due to a very unpredictable current, cold water and jellyfish. Before I swam the holy grail of channel swims, I tempered my mind with photographic meditations that kept me in the moment taking in every aspect of the blustery rough weather and social norms of Northern Ireland. I always photograph right before I swim. A sort of ritual, a calm before the sea storm. Thanks to the luck of the Irish, magic of the mermaids, and the work effort of a competitive swimmer I finished the world's most difficult channel swim, The North Channel (Irish Channel) on July 27th. Since 1947, I became the 46th woman to complete it and only the 118th person in history to complete it as well. The notorious lion's mane jellyfish were like landmines on my route. I was covered from my face to my toes (my entire body swelled, but I managed!) It took me a couple days of not sleeping to sweat out the toxins. It was a very hard swim. I am grateful to Seattle's Salish Sea where I trained, as well as my pilot Quinton Nelson of the North Channel Swim Association who steered his 1962 Burmese teak boat name Morning Glory towards Dunsky Castle, where I finished in Scotland at 13 hours 9 minutes and 21 seconds. The boat was serendipity, because I also lived in Burma for 6 years. Here is to living and swimming. This is the visual journal of I, Bethanie, a channel swimmer, whose experience right before a swim is mental preparation, calming, a training that also involves mental focus, a sense of joy before the major pain of crossing a channel. I'm just passing through. Yes, I'm just passing through.
7 imagesAntara is a visual monograph that depicts the Burmese Buddhist ceremony of Shinbyu. This religious and cultural rite of passage is told through my son who was born in Burma to a European American mother (myself) and a Burmese father. This is the story of my son's Buddhist initiation ceremony for novice monks in his grandmother''s village, which is located in a remote destination in the far north of Myanmar. Yarrow, born in Yangon during the year of the Saffron Revolution has grown up living between two very different countries, that of America and that of Myanmar. Together, mother and son explore how this dynamic has shaped his outlook on his young life so far. Antara is an exploration that deals with the intersection of countries, culture, and family. It is a celebration of lineage and tradition, while also embracing the art of one's individuality and diversity. •This gallery displays, but a few of the images in my book. The 7 X 7 (18 X 18 cm) monograph Author & Illustrator: Bethanie Mitchell ISBN: 978-0578719238 Published 2020 Self-Published by Bethanie Mitchell of Naga publications. Hardcover, Linen Pages 126 https://www.amazon.com/Antara-Bethanie-Mitchell/dp/0578719231/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1697432944&refinements=p_27%3ABethanie+Mitchell&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Bethanie+Mitchell&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.f5122f16-c3e8-4386-bf32-63e904010ad0