Ian Breakwell

In the summer of 2019, the International Society for the Study of Surrealism held its second conference at the University of Exeter, and celebrated a previous surrealist manifestation of surrealism in Exeter: the 1967 exhibition The Enchanted Domain.

I delivered a paper at the conference on the work of Ian Breakwell. He did not show his work in The Enchanted Domain itself, but he was a participant in the events that accompanied the show and the loose surrealist group which formed out of it.

This centred on the Continuous Diary, which was perhaps his most important work, continually developing and morphing till his death in 2005. I have previously discussed one aspect of Breakwell’s Diary in So Exotic, So Homemade, connecting it with my interest in the interface between surrealism and documentary

Attached here is the text of the 20 minute paper delivered in Exeter, cleaned up and interleaved with some of the images shown on screen. It is however very much an interim report and I intend to develop and extend it, with added footnotes, in the near future.

Ian Breakwell