I rarely have symbolic or prophetic dreams; mostly my sleep is filled with bizarre mashups of whatever science fiction or action flicks I consumed that day. I do a lot of swimming, running, and acrobatics in my sleep (which is probably inspired by the restless, jerky legs that PD brings to my nights.) If I'm lucky, Daniel Craig makes an appearance, doing his smokin' hot James Bond thing. However, I have had a handful of dreams over the years that I've considered important, messages from my subconscious that require closer examination. I write those dreams down in detail immediately upon waking so I can preserve that gift of wisdom from myself.
Last week, I dreamed I was standing on the second floor of a huge factory, leaning on a railing that bordered a metal walkway that overlooked a large machine. The machine was a giant loom and to each side of that were smaller looms. There were workers in greasy overalls working and they all looked like me. I couldn't make out what was being woven on the large central loom but on the smaller ones, I saw bits of my previous work represented as large rugs or perhaps wall hangings. The workers were unraveling those pieces of my art like you would a sweater. Stretched canvas paintings, doodled drawings, clay sculptures: all were being teased apart into piles of colorful thread and those threads were being fed, all at once, into the mechanism of the central loom. I saw a shuttle flying back and forth, seemingly of its own accord and something, something marvelous but mysterious, was spooling out the other end. And that's it; at that point I woke up, frustrated that I hadn't been able to see further but I guess I can't expect for it all to be handed to me. I think my subconscious believes I need to figure a few things out for myself in the light of day.
This dream is particularly on point for me as I begin preparing for my October show. I am working out the inclusion of assemblage and sculpture alongside my paintings. In truth, they are not new ideas but rather past explorations from previous work, public and private, that are exciting to me again. I like to constantly reinvent myself and I do that by mining my past interests for future inspiration. I take that "old" work and weave it into my current set of passions to form something brand new. In that way, I strengthen my unique look (aka "style".) I can put up a completely different show every year and yet, it still has my mark.
Any time I contemplate something new, I go through a very specific set of emotions. At first, I am wildly enthusiastic, brimming with energy. And then, as I approach actually following through with my ideas, I get scared, doubtful. I begin to question myself, wondering if perhaps I am overreaching, caught up in a fanciful notion with no hope of success. This dream came to me right about the time I was starting to pull back from my initial decision. My subconscious stepped in and sent me a little message across the void: "Hey now! Don't back down! You are on the right track. Something new and beautiful will be born from the old."
Note: The project pictured is my sample for a high school art lesson in which we created painted wall hangings inspired by Zapotec woven rugs. Once I brought my sample home, I embellished it further to help it fit in with the vibe of my studio. The inspiration for this project originally came from this DIY post from Alisa Burke.