As the semester draws to a close, I’m too antsy and distracted to settle into new painting, so am using my energy to organize and re-examine a body of work that was completed and packed away right after they were shown at an Open Studio in 2014.
The Topography of Dreams series is a group of small mixed media paintings that begin with puddles of latex paint pressed from one panel to another. The same yellow shapes occur on two different paintings, but one is the mirror image of the other. They are paired with pressings from different panels, and paint is layered to alter the original color forming floating layers of drifting continents and islands. The familiar becomes the unknown when thrown into each new context.
Frequently, in my dreams, I will recognize a neighborhood, or place that I have visited before in previous dreams. And while I may not be able to hold onto the memory that connects these buildings, rooms, winding streets and countrysides together coherently, I cannot deny my utter conviction that these places are familiar and I have been here before. These paintings are meditations on the experience of recognition and discovery, of half-remembered connections, familiar paths, forgotten rooms, winding journeys, and of being lost and found all at once.
Unpacking these little maps and finding them both familiar and new adds layers to the dream-experience that inspired them.
I am grateful for the writing of Mircea Cărtărescu in his novel, Blinding, a Romanian novel recently translated into English and to our friends, Valentin and Mirela who gifted us with a copy. Cărtărescu weaves the clearest description of this inter-connected dream space that I have ever read. The titles for these paintings are all phrases gathered from this book.
The Topography of Dreams series is now available through my store.