Monday, October 10, 2011

Where the Wild Thyme Blows

Sleep to Dream (2011) by Stella Im Hultberg

When rousing from a vivid dream, the awakened mind echoes with the whispers and unravelling figments of unconscious desires and dreads. The disjointed narratives of our slumbering spirit fade and grow still, but leave a lingering resonance, a haunting sense of another place that can only be entered through the gateways of sleep. This is the feeling that Thinkspace Gallery's exhibit "In the Wake of Dreams" seems to be evoking.

The show features the art of Amy Sol, Audrey Kawasaki, Mari Inukai, and Stella Im Hultberg. Each artist deals primarily with figural depictions, signifying the beings of the "dreamspace" be it the dreamer or the subject of the dream. With distinct approaches to aesthetic oneiromancy, these artists explore the complexity of identity within the illogical realms of the night.

Stella Im Hultberg is the most traditionally western in her studies of a single raven-tressed woman. Her style has vague symbolist hints, but steers clear of the ornamentation and opulence that characterizes such art. Her images have a placid but deep simplicity in which the dreamer becomes a disembodied visage. Meanwhile, the awakened self is wrapped in lush fabrics that weigh upon the her like the memories of profound imaginings.

Sea Mallow (2011) by Amy Sol

The Self as traveler in an idyllic dreamscape is the premise of Amy Sol's work. Whether it's reading tea leaves in the bough of a great tree alongside a giant bird or watching sea monsters frolic upon a moonlit loch, the dreamer experiences a fantasy realm of peace and amity. Technically, her utilization of the wood grain within the composition gives the work an organic feel. The natural patterns of the material give the paintings depth and a sense of vitality to the featureless setting.

With Audrey Kawasaki, the dreamer gets erotic, but with an undertone of menace or transgression. The gorgeous figures depicted in this show seem enraptured by desire, but there is also a disturbing sense on being enthralled and trapped, confined by the ribbons and patterns that surround them. The nudity serves as both a sign of sexual exhilaration and of being disarmed, defenceless.

Lovesongs (2011) by Audrey Kawasaki

Finally, the true nature of the Self is revealed in the works of Mari Inukai. Whereas in the waking world the Self may wear a series of facades, within the Dream World the dreamer's true face is exposed. In this place where the false conventions of society melt away, the dreamer can discern the true nature of things.

Daisuki (2011) by Mari Inukai

This was an interesting show with an engaging premise. The artists each have rich imaginative visions and compelling techniques in expressing them. I definitely recommend checking out this show.

Here's a vid of the exhibit.

"In the Wake of Dreams" will be on exhibit at Thinkspace Gallery until October 29, 2011.


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