Artist Statement

 

A Dream Within a Dream

Picnic at Oaks Bottom

Picnic at Oaks Bottom

My exhibition title A Dream Within A Dream is taken from a film, Picnic at Hanging Rock by Peter Weir (1975) in which the heroine—a young girl says “What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream”—a quote from Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem under the same name.

Picnic at Hanging Rock is an important influence on this body of work. Slow and hypnotic in style and mysterious in plot and conclusion—I enjoy the way by which the female forms interact with nature—Victorian silhouettes against a heightened—almost supernatural beauty of the landscape.

Each piece in this series deals with transformation—and a specific act that significantly enhances our awareness of the world around us. Longhaired Victorian women dancing around a maypole were in a sense—misbehaving—and celebrating. The actors in Voodoo Macbeth by Orson Welles in 1936 wore Haitian costumes and transformed the Shakespearean play into a Caribbean, all-black performance. The snake charmer was able to hypnotize the snake with his music. The antler dancers used costume and movement to embrace the equinox. The figures in my piece, Revolution Tree, prevented the uprooting of a tree with their bodies.

During the making of A Dream Within A Dream’, I took walks in Portland’s Oak’s Bottom Wildlife Refuge and photographed what I saw—often using the fragmented, silhouettes of trees and reflected water as catalysts for paintings.

I returned to a dimensional and topographic way of working with paper after a six-year hiatus last seen in the ‘Portals’ series. I simply didn’t feel ready to stop. My figures are rooted in found images and borrowed silhouettes that I find based on form and energy. I collect images of important minor occurrences—actions that emit a spark or a shift. The people in these photographs transform into topographic abstractions and at times lose their context. I am interested in what I cannot see—the energy that occurred at the time of the photograph. Through painting, I try to depict the sensation of doing something euphoric, rebellious, and celebratory

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