Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hypnopompic Series Statement

I recently learned the phrase hypnopompic state, which defines that time between sleeping and waking. It’s a wonderful, arrogant sounding phrase that perfectly describes that lucent period of time when one’s mind seems most agile and capable of coming up with interesting, bizarre concoctions. This past spring, after a particularly grim winter, I found myself bombarded by incredibly rich dreams that seemed entirely focused on fertility. Though birth played a large role in the dreams it felt constraining to read them as simply about breeding. I took aspects of the dreams, the vivid colors, bright washes of light, ambiguous sense of space and scale, and played around with the idea of fertility in these paintings, not merely procreative, but the larger concepts of creativity, abundance, and possibility. Many of my dreams had an element of loss, vacuum, or hollowed out space, but rather than feeling empty or bleak, these spaces were light-filled and ripe with potential. In the past few years, as I’ve been thinking about the cycle of loss and life, I’ve come to understand that loss opens up a liminal space: a place meant for calm, quiet contemplation, a place as full of opportunities as it is full of grief. The spaces in my dreams began to feel as ripe as the hypnompompic state in which they were occurring.