Unearth dreams July 20th in Davis Square in Somerville as part of Artbeat.
Location: Statue Park Davis Sq. Somerville, MA
From noon to 6pm.
Dreams are naturally fleeting and ephemeral. Like a feeling,
they can seize the body and mind to only become a vague and curious memory when
we awake or though passing time.How do we give gravity and mass to something transient as dreams?
Cultures create framework for such moments and experiences though iconography,
storytelling, and mythmaking.
“Breaking Ground: Dream harvester” is an installation
mimicking an archeological dig that is open to public participation.The installation will be open July 20th
from noon to 6pm located at the sculpture park in Davis Square.
By nurturing, unearthing and digging out such dreams from
slumber and aspirations, the infinitely small and unnamable, builds weight and
mass, growing into physical entities we see, hold and share.These physical images and forms then
become movements for change.The
micro-movement of excavating, sweeping, and digging out dreams resonates a
positive energy that is limitless – inspiring personal and social
“Breaking Ground,” submerges a painting under heaps of dirt
to be unearthed by the same gardening tools that previously were only the
subjects of the paintings I have been known to create.
Tools for digging and excavating will be provided as well as
instructions in English and Spanish and Portuguese. During Artbeat on July 20th
from noon to 6pm, the sandbox structure will be opened with a performance
enacted by myself with a rake. I will begin to scratch at the soil, revealing
glimpses of paintings inspired by dreams of Somerville residences I collected
during Artbeat 2011.I will be
present for the display and community interaction of this project.
It's been way too long since my last post, but I promise I am working hard on harvesting dreams.
Below is an image of my work highlighted in the Boston Globe by Cate McQuaid.
This painting "Big Dream" and many others are on view at Laconia Gallery until April 22nd. For more information please visit www.laconiagallery.com
I have been working on a mix media drawing of a fence, inspired by a dream collected this summer though Dream Harvester. This is a work in progress, and I am working out the details for a physical fence structure as a reinvented dream catcher.
An old friend from high school (whom I randomly met on the street) offered to give me a ride to the airport. I think I had alternative means of getting to the airport, but I opted to go with the friend. I had many hours until I had to be there. Of course, with all that time at hand, it had to be squandered. It felt inevitable. In the end, I had forgotten my medications and I had to be driven back home, and around the city, until I finally made it to the airport. I was going to fly to Israel to see family, and visit the gravesite of my recently passed grandmother.
I remember feeling bad, that my friend drove me all around the city. The past couple days, during my waking hours I started thinking about my behavior in this recent dream. Do I expect people to serve me? I felt that there was something in the behavior of this dream that felt so wrong. It seemed so strange, yet predictable of my behavior, to wait, to need to extend the favor? I wonder what this ties to? What was I resisting to let go of?
Back to waking life, I am going to Israel this year. It is hard to imagine what it will be like to visit my grandmother in a place of empty bodies. She was terrified of gravesites. I have actually already gone there two years ago when my grandfather, her husband, passed away. He is burred in a plot right behind her.
Last fall/ winter I painted a large canvas, 60w" by 74h" called "Song of Songs." I painted it for her. I started it before she became very ill. When I was thinking about the images for this painting, I knew it had to have a ram with female figure holding a cell phone. I was also certain that it had to have some text from the love poem to G-d, Shir v Shirim (song of songs). I only found out later that it is common in Sephardic tradition to sing this poem at a widow's funeral.
Sometimes intuition about those we love speaks so loudly, even when oceans cause physical separation.
About a month ago, a dear friend of mine sent me an email . . . “omg I had a dream about you! I didn't want to tell you this dream, it wasn't very pleasant, but since you're into dreams these days, I thought I should share it with you. My husband did tell me that dreams usually say more about the person dreaming then about the characters in the dream.” This is a reference to Carl Jung’s theory on dreams.
We met a week later to discuss the dream.
“So I and some other people were at a high school parking lot, and someone told me you were in trouble, and trapped in a car. We found you in parked car in the high school parking lot. When we opened the door, you were completely frozen and even your nose fell off. It is usually the first to go when one is frozen to death. We were all shaking and crying. It was horrible.”
It seemed to me, in this dream, that I represented the importance of social status, seeing that I was found dead in a high school parking lot. High school can represent acceptance by our peers. I know my friend had a big event coming up that week, and I’m sure the excitement and fear of the event was tied to this dream. But on the other side, I hoped the dream was not foretelling a bad omen for her or me.
Maybe there is more to this dream. I do think it was brave of my friend to open the car door and look face to face with the noseless corpse. In the dream world, could I as a corpse have something to offer my friend?
Here is a link to an article on leaning from our nightmares: “Don’t Fear Vulnerability” by Rodger Kamenetz. This article in the New York Times is part of a series called “Should We Manipulate Our Dreams.”
Space is important element in dreams, and for me, as a painter, I’m constantly thinking about space. In my opinion, the place in space that holds the most tension are doorways. When we cross a doorway’s threshold, infinite possibilities are on the other side. Of course, doors, physically or metaphorically, have been part of human culture for centuries.
The ancient Egyptian temples and tombs from the third dynasty (from 2686 BC) commonly contain false doorways or “Ka Doors.” Ka refers to an element of the soul. False doorways were thought to be entrance between the living world and the world of the spirits and deities.
"A false door is a place where you have an interaction between the living and the dead. It is really a doorway for the soul to go in and out of the afterworld," says Salima Ikram, a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.
"The idea is that you say 'Hi' to the deceased, and the deceased [comes] up and eats and drinks and talks to you, gets your wish, and then goes back down." Steven Stanek featured this quote in National Geographic News in February 25, 2008.
I recently received a dream about closing doors :
" I fell into a real deep sleep during which I was lucidly closing the doors in my home. I awoke from this dream when my partner got up and closed a couple of doors."
According to Dream Moods
To dream that you are entering through a door signifies new opportunities that are presented before you. You are entering into a new stage in your life and moving from one level of consciousness to another. In particular, a door that opens to the outside signifies your need to be more accessible to others, whereas a door that opens into the inside denotes your desire for inner exploration and self-discovery.
To see an opened door in your dream symbolizes your receptiveness and willingness to accept new ideas/concepts. In particular, to see a light behind the door suggests that you are moving toward greater enlightenment/spirituality.
To dream that the door is closed or locked signifies opportunities that are denied and not available to you or that you have missed out on. Something or someone is blocking your progress. It also symbolizes the ending of a phase or project. In particular, if you are outside the locked door, then it suggests that you have anti-social tendencies. If you are inside the locked door, then it represents harsh lessons that need to be learned.
I had an interesting dream a couple of weeks ago. Here is the narrative:
I open my refrigerator. I then struggle to open the crisper, which reveals a head of a cow, in a sauce of blood and tomatoes. I then proceeded to take chicken skin and wrap the remaining beef chunks with chicken skin.
According to www.dream-land.com, dead animal dreams are a sign of change in your personal situation. This is a broad interpretation, but it is inline as I just moved apartments at the time of the dream.
The last time I saw a cow head in the refrigerator was in graduate school. One of my colleagues was making paintings of cow heads and kept one in the communal fridge as reference material.
It’s funny to see this connecting for me, profound experiences seem to have no boundaries in the land of dreams.
In Benedict Carey's article A Dream Interpretation: Tuneups for the Brain, featured in the New York Times, there is discussion that dreams may be our sleeping brain's warm up in anticipation of waking. Anyone out there practice lucid dreaming?
There is even mention that as fetuses, our dreaming minds, "see" before the eyes open. The developing brain may draw on preprogramedmodels of space and time in preparation of life outside of the womb.
Fascinating research on REM activity is being conducted right around the corner by Dr. J Allen Hobson at Harvard University and Dr. Llinas at MIT.
If any of you are looking for a useful website to help decipher your dreams, I recommend http://www.dreammoods.com
Of course, when interpreting your dreams, your perspective is always the most trustworthy.
I came across an interesting dream researcher in Psychology Today.Ryan Hurd, has a certificate in Dream Studies from John F. Kennedy University's Consciousness and Transformation Studies Program. Hurd has similar ideas to Carl Jung’s Theory on dreams and dreaming. Hurd, like Jung, believes that slumber’s narratives can unlock important elements for our waking lives. Below Hurd cites his wish to make dreaming and dreams part of the American discourse.Maybe all we need is a new reality show devoted to lucid dreamers.
"My big goal is to make Western culture into a dreaming culture. The United States is anti-dreaming, because dreaming is irrational. We're fighting the Enlightenment on this issue, but dreams bring out all these ways of knowing that are just as valid" as those of which society approves. He cites a centuries-old Iroquois ritual during which tribes people acted out their unnerving dreams - even if those performances entailed breaking tribal taboos, expressing violent urges, or revealing untoward lusts. Such rites served to "air the dirty laundry in order to reduce its charge and prevent unconscious acting-out that could escalate if left unchecked," Hurd writes. "I wish dream-sharing was a mandatory start before every meeting of the United Nations, by the way. Hey, I'm a dreamer." (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stuck/200909/field-dreams)