I’ve always had an issue with presenting my work to other people, especially other artists. The problem arises when people ask me what my work means, why I created it, and all that stuff. To be totally honest? It’s because I wanted to. I enjoy making things, I enjoy looking at the things I have made, that’s really the best answer I have. I suppose you could say I believe in art for art’s sake.
When I saw the prompt “Dream” I got an image in my head, warm, pink, hazy, and surreal. It seemed like it would be fun to make. The final product is the best representation of that image I could make and though nothing ever looks exactly how you imagine it I quite like the finished product. If I had to assign a statement to my work, it would be that the things you do, don’t need to have a grand purpose to be worthwhile. If you enjoy something then that's enough.
My dreams seem to repeat. I have a few dreams that I can remember in great detail almost like a film: shot-for-shot, I can see the environments my mind creates. For the theme “dreamers” I chose to pluck one particular dream out of my mind and place it into a digital file.
As with all dreams, the ‘why’ is unknown. I could not find any images or places that fit the mould for this dream, thus, I chose to create the environment from scratch out of many images. The images that were taken by me are those of the treehouse and of the singular child where I see myself, in the lower-left hand corner of the piece.
I take things very literally, so looking at an abstract theme like dreams or dreamers was tricky. I took inspiration from a board game I love, The Dreamer from Sentinels of the Multiverse. I have recently been working with similar projects, mixing visual effects with a board game or its components. Perhaps a little snippet of what I see in my head while playing some of my favourite games. I suppose I enjoy doing these projects because these worlds, while fantastical, are real enough for me to take comfort in. I make connections through my interests and so they come to mind quickly. I consider it a rare treat to be able to share that and perhaps make people curious enough to have a look at what I love.
I interpret dreams to be a reflection of both personal goals and what the brain conjures up in sleep. Dreams are your whole world in the moment and once you wake up they dissolve into the background of the waking world. A friend of mine wants to attend veterinary school and we’ve had several discussions about this recently. The person in the foreground has his back to the viewer as his attention is on his goals and future. The stream and flow of the water represent the progression and the pull towards his goal. The cows in the river create a path that he will have to follow. The buildings represent what we aspire to reach “downstream” in life. The vision or ultimate goal that we have may seem abstract and unrealistic, this is why I created them digitally rather than using a photographic reference. The windows on the building represent when our waking aspirations bleed into our sleeping dreams at dusk, the fleeting remembrance of dawn and the deep enrapture of twilight.
I am not an adult, but I am not a child. Children have experiences we don't as we age, they fade into the obscurity and darkness of our minds, and yet still they exist within our dreams. I wanted to try to exemplify how it feels within the mind when you see these memories slowly fading away. I thought a long exposure shot could get this sub-reality feel I was going for, while invoking emotions of nostalgia and longing in the viewer because of their relation to the subject. I want people to look at my art and see what they do when asleep, the slowly fading memory of what once was, hopefully with my art the viewers can reflect upon their earliest memories, and try- just for one more day, to stop them from fading into the obscurity that is the corners of the mind.
This artwork emphasizes the contrast between what is reality and what is a dream. The focal point of the piece is a girl who is caught in between two moments. On the left side she is blurry, out of focus, and in another sort of dimension in dreams, whereas on the right she is more clear, in focus, and in the present moment. The embroidery of a rib cage represents feeling caged in and then the flowers represent the blossoming of ideas/dreams breaking out of a cage. The candle represents the lightness and goodness of life, similar to how dreams could feel like you are seeing the light and the end of a tunnel. The stars I put because it makes me think of moments staring at the night sky and seeing thousands of stars and it is so magical and dreamlike, feeling a connectedness to life. experiencing the vastness of existence of how much is unknown and yet how that can be peaceful to think that some things can only be dreamed of.
There will always be the few who are not satisfied with what they know, and for whom the allure of the unknown draws them in. There are no guarantees that you will find something on your quest to understand this world or the universe; but there is something in me that just needs to know who, or what is waiting for me, just outside of my grasp.
My work reflects the innate curiosity that I have, the need to understand the world and figure out why things are the way they are. The “Hourglass Sea” by Khan and Selesnick really inspired me to make these elements the focus of my work. The exploration of an unknown place is not really something that is feasible in most situations; but in a dream, it makes perfect sense. Some dreams can represent desire, and this picture captures one of my strongest desires—to explore the unknown.
From From my experience, dreaming is not always a positive thing. Something I find interesting about dreams, both the type that happens while sleeping and the type we reference when speaking about our aspirations and ambitions, is the illusion of control. The foreground of my image represents the part of the dream that is in control. It transitions into the large background representing the unknown and unpredictable. My goal was to instill a certain mood of uncertainty and the feeling that the road ahead is much more difficult than one might imagine. I decided to take this pessimistic approach to the “dreamers” theme in hope of inciting thought and emotion in the viewer. My use of abstract and surrealist editing methods and colours along with the effects such as the clouds and fog help to give the image a dystopian-esque feel. Together, these elements create a feeling of unfamiliarity which separates the viewer from reality.
As a photographer and someone who enjoys creating short films, I like to create work that is less realistic; either visually or conceptually. I do this because I find the process more interesting and I like to create a sense of wonder or intrigue. In my photo, I am conveying the idea that a person “can be their own harshest critic”. This image represents the negative process of critiquing oneself and making yourself feel small or unworthy. The three standing figures judging the prone/smaller figure represent this idea as the subject is quite literally and figuratively looking down on themselves.
Dreams are just good nightmares. Something that is an escape from reality, but not necessarily in a good way. I want viewers to see what lies beneath. What’s in their subconscious. The contrast of familiarity and the unknown that my art emphasizes is something both dreams and nightmares embody well. Something may lurk in the dark of your kitchen, or maybe that something might just be lurking in the recesses of your mind.
In this image, I wanted to explore the idea that people always wear masks throughout their day-to-day life. Whether with friends, family, or at school, as humans, we are always altering how we present ourselves to fit in and be respected. This year's theme of dreams allowed me to take a more literal and surreal stance on that concept. The removal of the smiling mask to reveal a blank face shows how ultimately people never truly are whom they present themselves to be when they wear the masks.
Jonah Francis Collins
'Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep'
When I have a particularly striking nightmare it’s the aftermath that leads to the most terror. I often find myself methodically dissecting it, attempting to correlate what happened in the nightmare to problems and thoughts I've had in the past. I start to wonder what form these ideas would take if they could take a form at all? At the core of our nightmares and night terrors are the strong and confusing emotions that are elicited within us. Feelings of fear, anxiety or shame are often what our subconscious screams at us when we wake, while we try to process what exactly we just went through.
For my project, I explored ideas of The American Dream and the idea that one’s ideals can be realized through hard work and determination. I was inspired by a novel by Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, and by a specific character. The character in question is Daisy Buchanan. Despite the wealth and stability she possesses, she is unable to appreciate what she has in the moment and constantly looks into the future for what might be able to make her happier, but unable to live in contentment. That isn’t to say that I believe individuals should give up on their aspirations, but rather that they should be able to recognize what they have in the moment, even in failure. Throughout the novel, despite the immense success and incredible achievements that the characters have achieved, they are eerily unhappy— a result of being unable to see one’s own fortunes..
I tried to create an image or an idea of a dream. I used a close up picture of an eye because it's as if the person was “seeing into the past” or “remembering a bad dream.” I added a picture of the person falling inside the pupil because that's the part where you see and that is what the person is remembering. I edited this way to make it seem like a sad dream where the person is falling and fading and everywhere else is black and white so it’s as if nothing else mattered.
Dreaming and creativity are very closely related. A lot of the photography that I shoot has an interesting take on creativity. I always try to express myself and my hobbies through photography. This year, I chose a dreamier direction for one of my favourite hobbies as a child, reading. Reading fuels creativity, which in turn fuels dreaming. As children, most of us have read a decent share of books in our life, which has led us to have many wild and unforgettable dreams. The book being burned is called “The Little Prince” which many of you have probably heard of and possibly even read yourself. It’s about enchantment, imagination, creativity, and most importantly, dreaming. The book itself touches upon the idea that as we grow older, our innocence and imagination slowly burn away. That theme is exactly what I was going after in my photography. As one grows older, that purity and sheer curiosity, alongside imagination and creativity slowly burn away, which results in erasing our ability to dream out of existence..