Recently I and a few other students had the opportunity to volunteer at G39 to help the artist Jennifer Taylor. We were guided in constructing these rock like objects out of wood, cardboard, newspaper and tape – these would then be PVA’d and finally painted to create alluminious objects. Taylor said that these objects would be then travelled to her upcoming show, where people would dress up in these skin tight body suits. Alluminious people and objects and that’s as far as i’ve got with the understanding but I was offered to join the journey so hopefully I can take part and come to understand more so.
Using multiple sizes and destroying the corners of the objects became an apparent good choice in the development of the overall processing. I felt like the idea could be formulating something along the lines of obscurity contrasted with domineering lighting, even though everything blending, everything is standing out (especially at night). Tension and force seem like key words and this started to make me even consider how I may even be able to take my distorting ideas to the next level in terms of photography and video especially.
All over summer and especially lately, I have began taking sound recordings. After having positive feedback from my last video also, I want to keep working in this particular area and considering not just one or two ideas in my video but multiple personal ideas which I feel in somewhat way all connect to my disorder of sleep paralysis.
By recording multiple ‘everyday’ sounds I hope to get to grips with my sleep on a more personal level. With also keeping up with a diary, I’ve realised these variations of sounds seem to sometimes appear in my sleep. Whether it’s a minor part or doesn’t even come out in my sleep for weeks, I’ve really came to realise that daily interactions and ‘normal’ sounds as well as more creepy sounds, can impact my sleep!
My memory seems to be getting worse lately and I find myself taking more and more notes, and by making these notes not just written but recorded/drawn/photographed, I find myself understanding the part of me which stays active when the rest isn’t. Even if this is only in small doses, these things seem to trigar flash backs and moments in my sleep from the more normal to the extraordinary.
I mean the fact still remains that a larger part of my sleep paralysis can be so disturbed but I feel lately I’ve had such a brain wave in realising not only is this most likely from suppressed feelings and earlier life experiences but daily activities/sounds/interactions. – It’s like this part of my brain is continuing a story, making motives and feeding me false lies at times? It all becomes so real and sort of plants a seed and I sometimes find myself sat there in the morning having to take a seat back and figure out right from wrong.
My mind is so fucked but here I am swimming through life xx
Aboriginal Girl, 1986, Spray paint on canvas
After seeing this show being advertised, I just knew I had to go! It reminds me so much of Marlene Dumas’ work (the artists work who sprung a lot of collage/photography blurring ideas). In my dreams, I often can not depict who it is taunting me and so fourth and this technique with spray painting is amazing to see. The figures look as if they’re shouting, whether its for help or at someone, I’m not too sure but the influencing definitely still remains.
Self Portrait, 1986, Spray paint on canvas
I have missed creating some of my larger, weird collages lately and I feel once I’ve progressed more with my diary and visions, I’ll then be ready to get back into them in more depth. I don’t want to all necessarily resemble ‘creatures’ as some of mine can still feel slightly normal. but I good contrast of these mixed with my more disturbed dreams could result in an interesting result.
I think Nolan’s polaroids give a in a sense, more of a personal factor. I enjoy a set of works which have this sense of collage and build of a story as such, not am ‘obvious’ one but another element for the viewer to be drawn in by. Nolan’s work often depicts individuals that had strong personal significance for Nolan, including his brother, close friend Benjamin Britten, Francis Bacon and fellow Australian artist Brett Whiteley. It wasn’t totally clear and the reasoning for doing so but what I gathered from this running theme was that no matter how the people were related to him, if he saw them in however way, to be remembered from past events, making work based on them gave a sense of release. I like the fact it’s quite vague as it leaves the viewer to ponder and create their own interpretation just as I have. Even though I’m not controlling my brain to do so, my work is starting to relate to significant people in my life but only snippets. The blurring and slight collages and areas I noticed straight away and I just simply love Nolan’s work!
Using other peoples conversations has become a ‘thing’ in my work also, I’ve been considering the fact that daily conversations and significant events are things which often react in my sleep. I can wake up so confused, it’s not just scary things which mess with my head, it can be the most normal things telling me often random shit. It’s like a part of my brain just sits there and is waiting for the rest of my brain and body to shut up and then goes ahead and tries to fuck with me. Is this a game or? – I just sit there like: did that even happen? but then this can even sometimes be switched and the person whether I know them or not, can just disappear or shout at me/tell me off/try to help me. Literally anything can happen but one thing I know for sure is daily events can often play a massive part within my sleep!
Alongside my diary I have began creating a series of ‘vision drawings’, in the process of making these, It’s really started to spring many new ideas. Text is definitely becoming a strong component for my work and helping me to not only develop my work to another level but to remember and understand myself. Dealing with an issue has helped me connect to the way in which I respond to my work and have this kind of discussion with myself. It’s so interesting to see how each day my way of drawing and communicating with my work changes, with different experiences and sleep reactions, I am able to express different feelings and see how my work responds to these matters.
This first drawing is like an opening to letting myself and the viewer into my head. It can feel daunting to push to this next level but I am feeling excited to have reached this point with my work and who knows where it shall take me!
I am using my daily diary to express my daily significant or even stand out conversations/thoughts/actions, which then often react within my sleep. This happens by either these ‘trigger’s’ staying in my mind whilst sleeping and then my head making a new story out of them uncontrollably or they can even drastically make me feel and see vivid shapes/silhouettes and so fourth with what happens during these occurrences making it hard for me to wake. I can often feel like I actually am awake multiple times before finally waking and realising I was pretty much in the same position with my eyes closed the whole time. Sounds often interfere and things such as buzzing and tapping sounds repeat, at times it’s even as if I can actually feel the pain and it’s even got to points where I’ve awoken feeling these pains!
A lot of this comes back to the condition of sleep paralysis; where ones mind is still subconsciously awake but your physical body is still and nearing paralysed. Thinking and feeling these incidences is something else and not being able to do anything about them is the worst part. Even feeling like in your head you’re doing something to try and stop them is a mind fuck. “What is fucking real or right?”, can i even trust somewhat part of my brain? Some of the most real situations from the previous day can play a part, making everything feeling in more that bit real. Such a jumble of the exaggerated, the ‘real’ and the terrifying.
Keeping up a diary of everything I can remember, even though this can be a challenge in itself, has helped me so much over the past months and will hopefully continue to do so! Taking abstracts from it and creating work from it as a sort of secondary source has been the best thing for me in a ling while and has given me so many ideas. Text can play such a significant part to the overall understanding of ones work and I feel so much more connected to my work now!
After much consideration and with my end of year feedback, I have decided to continue and progress with my work surrounding the theme of Distortion and Sleep Paralysis. I have learnt a lot more about myself and how I can reach my work to a more personal level but more so lately I’ve began a sort of journal with text, collage and drawn mediums. Noting my thoughts and reactions to my sleep, I’ve really started to reach a new level with not only myself but how I can connect to the audience and the work itself. Whether it’s a trigured thought from the day before or something someone has said which sticks with me, I’m finding it really fascinating and interesting that I’m finding ways to delve deeper into myself and understanding how my brain works subconsciously aswell as consciously. Merging text into larger collages in time could become exciting and hopefully help connecting them more so to my sleep paralysis.