Ian Breakwell’s video installation The Other Side explores the fragility of life
Breakwell's work is inspired by the afternoon dances held at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, on the south coast of England. Footage of older couples, ballroom dancing on the pavilion balcony, has been slowed down to the rhythm of Franz Schubert’s ‘Nocturne in E flat Major’. The dancers glide across the terrace. Their graceful movements are echoed by the slow panning, back and forth, of the camera and the gentle sound of the lapping waves.
The warm glow of the setting sun fosters a state of calm reflection. However, the contemplative atmosphere is abruptly broken when the music stops, and the room plunges into darkness. The sound of breaking glass, roaring waves and screeching seagulls are a startling intrusion into the peaceful scene. It is, as Breakwell puts it, ‘as if the glass pavilion of dreams has been invaded by darker forces from the other side.’
The unseen catastrophe draws into question the fragility of our existence, encouraging us to reflect on the missteps and the misfortunes, the accidents and the atrocities which surround us. Out of the darkness, the music begins again. Despite the challenges faced, the dance of life persists.
Curated by Helen O'Malley