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David Cotterrell and Ruwanthie de Chickera / United Kingdom
University of Brighton



Mirror IV : Stranger is a two-screen installation developed to explore the nature in which trust and suspicion is confronted when empathy is being established within a context of polarisation. Mirror is conceptualised as a series of two-screen works considering polarised perspectives, drawing alternatively on assumption and objectivity; this project is designed to explore the common human characteristics that could provide a stronger empathetic bridge between strangers than their contexts, roles and attire might suggest. Portraits of individuals are constructed in a manner that they transcend or challenge place, prejudice, projection, assumption and fear of the other – while at the same time providing insight into nuanced internal negotiations and narratives.


At a time when the extraordinary polarisation of half a century of war, appears to be coming to a close, we propose the development of a new research-based artwork modestly considering the enormous challenges of reconciliation and forgiveness. The project Mirror IV : Stranger is a collaboration between the UK- based visual artist, David Cotterrell and Sri-Lankan screen-writer, Ruwanthie de Chickera. It is a contemplative study of the process and obstacles to the normalisation of individual interaction within a context of deep historical division.