How do we use dreams in Art?
“Allotment Sheds”: Oil on canvas
60″ x60″: Claytor 1982
Just been rooting through my old paintings for one that fits with this idea. Sheds, gardens, ramshakle structures etc.
The artwork is not really complete for the Aragorn tower dream yet though. I don’t want to create the impression that I am always having these super cathartic dreams that point the way foreward in both my creative and social life. Nevertheless, this was an absolute corker! ………
I’m sure I could do a very telling starter drawing for the idea. I have always been fascinated by barns and structures that serve the countryside and this dream nudges me a bit further and beyond just the stage set of all that.
This dream first needs analysing though. At least to the point where I can begin to outline some kind of narrative.
Keywords here are:-
Freud, tower, (ooher :)), release, responsibility, forgiveness, gardens, families, collapsed, nature, friendship, salvation, build.
I have always been struck by how really good narrative paintings are so nuanced. So that the representation of even the shortest tale can have a myriad different facets, depending on the point where one hitches up to the story.
Dream pictures such as those by Dali on the other hand are kind of fixed perspective illustrations that represent the idea behind the original dream. They might be more inclined to take on the keywords as a starting point and allow what Freud described as “secondary elaboration” to play its part. i.e. Speculation on its message via the complexity of symbolic meaning.
The narrative approach is perhaps more concerned with character and personality as expressed through the realism and staging of a particular point in the tale.
For myself then I do not willingly forgo any of the creative nuences. However, I admire some of the reflective stillness of the Surrealists. Their ability to create a stage set is unquestionable. My allotment piece above is perhaps in that catagory. The Summer aftenoon mood is perfect. Yet I (as the viewer) desire to fall asleep and dream in front of its stage to see what will happen. What are the tales of release and forgiveness that are told like an extra photoshop layer on the surface of my old painting?
So I hope you get the the two main paths that I have outlined here. The stage set and the nuanced narrative.
With a dream gift such as the one described in my previous blog, then maybe the obligation is to bring the two together. Not just the time and place illustration and not just the subjective character reponse in all its subtlety. But an overview containing some kind of real time google earth perspective that shows that ideal moment in perfect detail before allowing us to wake up.
Try this book for good measure:-
Freud: “The interpretation of dreams”