You Could Sunbathe in this Storm (Slight Return)

Alice Dunseath

Filmmaker and animator Alice Dunseath works across a range of mediums including video art, animation, live action and installations, using visual storytelling to explore symphonic chaos, unrestricted by real-world laws. Her work aims to simplify the complex and to recontextualize the familiar through mutating forms and shocking flares of acid color. Ultimately, she works to illustrate the interconnected nature of all phenomena, the ineffable, transient nature of life, and the transformative possibilities of death.

You Could Sunbathe in this Storm (Slight Return) uses stop motion, elementary geometric forms and inorganic growth to reflect humanity and the natural world. The work begins with the dramatic collapse of what could be a child’s architectural construction of three-dimensional plaster objects. The pale cubes, cones and hemispheres become animate, transforming and interacting in playful, flirtatious movements. Suddenly, their smooth surfaces are overtaken by intensely chromatic, crystalline formations (grown from Dunseath’s own recipe!), evoking vast, otherworldly landscapes erupting with alien flora.

“Apart from the crystals and inks, plaster is the only material used in this piece. In every frame, the viewed shapes change, but because of the way they move, the eye accepts them as the same objects; the continuity of the shapes are believable despite always being different.

“I am interested in the mutability of forms, change as the only constant, the transience of beauty (and impossibility of truly capturing it), and ultimately the inevitability of degradation, death, and returning to whence we came.

“I wanted to explore the idea that all forms are merely an expression of one whole, and that these forms are interconnected, related and communing with each other constantly. I hope for the viewer to feel this, to see their own part in the universe and feel their own connection not only to humanity but to all things and phenomena. I hope for a positive, cathartic experience leaving a feeling of peace and oneness.”

- Alice Dunseath

“When I first saw this work I was struck by its ice cream, cotton candy, Pop Rocks colors – perfect for a sticky summer night in Times Square! – and by the inventive way it seemed to represent urban and natural landscapes. I asked Alice to propose it as a Midnight Moment, and was initially surprised by her philosophical description of the work. But on viewing it again I realized that her conception is all there, on the screen. Like all great works of art, this piece rewards investigation, and I hope that viewers will have the opportunity to encounter it several times during its run in July.”

- Andrew Dinwiddie, Times Square Arts

Alice Dunseath (b. 1984, lives and works in London, UK) grew up in Somerset, UK and is now a filmmaker, animator and Lecturer in Animation and Digital Image Making at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has a BA in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths and an MA in Animation from The Royal College of Art. She has screened and given talks about her work internationally at a number of film festivals, design weeks and universities, and has sat on the panel at Leeds International Film Festival, judging Best International Animated Short. Commercially, she has directed work for the BBC, Somerset House, Red Bull, Manchester International Festival, The Barbican, E4, La Mode Verte, Tom Rosenthal, Rosie Lowe and The School of Life.

You Could Sunbathe in this Storm (Slight Return)
A film by Alice Dunseath
Additional Animation by Luke George and Tom O’Meara
With thanks to The Royal College of Art, BlinkInk and The City of London Combined Education Charity.
Greg Simpson contributed text to an early draft of this project description.


Photographs courtesy of Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.