Sun&Sea

As part of Back to Earth presented at Serpentine North from 22 June to 18 September 2022, Sun &Sea features in Back to Earth LIVE, bringing together Serpentine’s vast network of individuals and organisations involved in tackling the environmental crisis in an extensive and ambitious 3 month programme of talks, performances and debates.

A crowded beach, the burning sun, bright bathing suits and sweaty palms and legs. Tired limbs sprawling lazily across a sea of towels. The rumble of a volcano, or of an airplane, or a speedboat. The squeal of children, laughter, the sound of an ice cream van in the distance. Sunbathers sing languid songs of worry, of boredom, of almost nothing. Songs of early morning flights and half-eaten sandwiches in the sand, the crinkling of plastic bags whirling in the air then floating silently, jellyfish-like below the waterline. Stories that glide between the mundane, the sinister and the surreal. Witness from above as an afternoon at the beach reveals a mesmerising exploration of the relationship between us and our planet.

Staged on an indoor beach at the Albany until 10 July as part of LIFT 2022 and Lewisham’s year as the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022, this durational work unfolds on a loop over several hours. Audiences watch from the balcony as dozens of performers bring the scene below to life. At first appearing to present a vision of a mundane afternoon at the beach, at the heart of Sun & Sea lies an urgent exploration of our relationship with the planet, the threat climate change presents and the dangers we face if it is ignored. Presented as Lithuania’s national entry for the 2019 Venice Biennale, Sun & Sea’s all-female creative team – composer Lina Lapelytė, librettist Vaiva Grainytė and director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė – received the festival’s top award, the Golden Lion. Sun & Sea has since traveled the world, curated by Lucia Pietroiusti, founder of General Ecology at Serpentine, earning acclaim from audiences of theatre, visual art, music and opera.