Saturday, March 13, 2010

dreamscapes & wonderlands

Robert ParkeHarrison, Flying Lessons, photogravure, 2000
Since the 5th grade I have recorded my dreams. But making a written record of something so visual, so vague, proves challenging. I feel that over the years improvement has come from practice, and that if I jot down the images and ideas in such a way as to trigger a memory of what I dreamed, then I'm successful.

I have tackled this idea in my visual artwork as well. My first book of prints sprang from the idea of the conscious vs. subconcious, how they constantly influence one another, and how present elements of waking life, memory, even nostalgia can be in these dreamscapes.

dream·scape –noun, 1. a dreamlike, often surrealistic scene. 2. a painting depicting such a scene. origin: 1959, from dream + -scape, from landscape, etc. first attested in a Sylvia Plath poem.

(I still can't find the poem to which Plath is credited above)

Last night I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and it brought back memories of the animated film, reading the story, and the little "wonderlands" that we create as children. Sure, it was no Edward Scissorhands, but an intense visual experience built upon imagination. In other words, still worth the experience, even if it wasn't quite as dark or substantial as I wanted it to be.

Artists Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison create the kind of visual, dream-like spaces I admire. The photo above, from the series called "The Architect's Brother", explores the human relationship with the earth. The DeCordova museum posted this write-up on the series:
"At the heart of these pictorial tales is a lone individual—ParkeHarrison himself as “Everyman”—engaged in Herculean struggles with nature and artifice. The mythic world he creates mirrors our world, where nature is domesticated and controlled. In actions that are both humorously metaphorical and lyrically poetic, ParkeHarrison constructs beguiling stories that make us consider what we have done or are doing to our earth."

-Cameron: Santa Fe, NM


  1. I have always thought about keeping a dream diary, or even dream blog b/c my dreams are so bizarre and often come true...I love dream like movies and favorite!

  2. Love that picture! Do you ever get your dreams analyzed?