Review: Stunner (Sprint Digital, CPT)

Presented by Palomar Theatre & Artists, Stunner is an online experience using images, animation, words, audio and video.

You are invited, as an audience member, to choose a path through an interactive gallery. On the way you experience a story (or to be fair, several stories) locked together under the theme of seeing, being seen, watching or being watched.

The artists involved (Eleanor Hope-Jones, Rachel Eames, Kate Rowsell, Annie Philbin and Gabi Spiro) have created a rich sequence of multimedia following one family.

Stunner deals with the fascination of society in observing women, and with our ever-consuming obsession with our appearance – there are mirrors on each level, and a constant nudge to ‘check your scores’.

Richly detailed artwork and video forms the backbone of Stunner, and although the observer has a chance to dictate their pathway, there is a certain feeling of helplessness and distaste as we watch Saskia at her art school, or the waitresses in the cafe, being harrassed for their actions, looks, and just for being women.

Image from Stunner

There are moments where mythical creatures take centre stage, others where words and static images wander and become their own form of artistic expression, lingering on screen, falling, flashing.

The title Stunner is in itself ambiguous – it is the word you might use to refer to a pretty girl, or something which is designed to shock. Both these perspectives collide in this installation: this is an incredibly perceptive piece of work which looks as the dark underbelly of life, whether we choose to stop where we are, or take one path over another.

You can experience Stunner at Camden People’s Theatre online as part of their Spirit Digital festival until 13 June – tickets here, on a Pay What You Decide basis. Watch the trailer to see a bit more about what you’ll be watching.