Yesterday’s horrific news of the art installation Dreamspace causing deaths and injuries when the inflated maze of multi-coloured PVC corridors became inexplicably airborne and then crashed in County Durham was terrible and tragic.
Since Dreamspace has been successfully and safely exhibited on many previous occasions to the great pleasure of millions of visitors, it is also sad to think that people will never again experience the sense of delight and wonderment as they wander through the structure’s elliptical doorways from cool green and blue rooms into others that blazed with yellow or burned with red…
Created in 1996 by Maurice Agis, Dreamspace was a labyrinth of 115 interlocking cubicles illuminated by the ever-changing natural light penetrating the PVC membrane from outside and pulsating with specially-composed music and sounds and with the movement of visitors who (having removed their shoes and donned capes) wandered about enjoying a wholly unique environment.
The setting - impossible to describe adequately other than by analogies: a cathedral of light, a tactile cave of coloured chambers - evoked feelings of relaxation and refreshment that were enjoyed by people of all ages.
We first visited Dreamspace in Dulwich Park in 2004 and found it so exhilarating and so deeply moving that we returned on another occasion, this time with our cameras, and took many images that, for us, will always bring back memories of a extraordinary experience.
That the space of dreams has now become a space of nightmares should be a cause for much sadness in a world where so few dreams survive and where so little time or space is left for dreaming…
[Images: © Brian Sibley/David Weeks]