Monday, 19 July 2010


dream·scape (-skāp′)


an imaginary, surrealistic, or dreamlike scene or setting, as in a film

What is a dreamscape? The term itself is nebulous, hard to pin down. We see images of varying styles, the dream may be real or surreal, half remembered reality or a pure work of imagination, light or dark. Electricity flashing through our neurons, some random and some not so random, gives rise to these flights of fancy. Thus the term is sufficiently ambiguous to be applied to many types of picture, film or art – be it a utopian landscape, a nightmare factory or a mundane office; in short, anything that can be found in a dream could strictly be viewed as a dreamscape.

Sometimes the dreamscape is indeed present only in the slumbering imagination; a sublime creation given form in your head, as real as anything in the ‘external’ world. But the term may also be a waking signifier, used to denote a scene or situation that doesn’t seem grounded in reality. An overly lucid landscape, discontinuities, incongruous objects or bizarre actions. Anything out of the ordinary, or something so ordinary it can’t possibly be real.

Most often these places are beautiful, seen through a fog but imbued with a bright clarity. Like a hazy summers afternoon that provokes an intangible feeling of otherworldness, the mind latches onto this tentative dreamstate and – like a siren calling you home – it evokes a wish to sleep, to dream and forget the rest. A whimsical toy I once owned bore the legend “the happy day passed like a dream”, and this is the feeling I strive for, not simply something which may be from a dream, but the stronger image that should be from life, but isn’t.

We all look at things differently. What we see is dictated by where we live and where we travel, dreams we have, who we talk to, music we hear, books we read. Our work is shaped by daily life and the love of art that feeds and nourishes the work we produce. Considering these influences from this complicated world we live in, how can we make sense of it, how can we centre on an idea? The answer always seems to be the same. Go home to ourself.

I think it possible to make work that is as much about time, memory, wind, weather, smell, happiness, anger as it is about the way a place looks. I experience art like a dancer experiences a dance. I feel it emotionally in my soul and physically in the muscles of my body. Rhythm and a sense of touch are a part of my work; the pattems in the markings mimic the physical processes in nature. I construct layers in this process, like the strata of the land that inspires me. I take common experiences and make them visible so that they may be shared and communicated.

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