Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Rooftop archive 6: more dreams

In previous "rooftop archive" posts I have discussed selfies and early work here and here, other people's work here, other dream drawings here, and the Tidal Series here, which is more vision than dream and remains a major influence on my work still.

Here is some 80s dream work from the rooftop archive. I have been interested in dreams and psychoanalysis for a long time with a dream diary spanning four decades. Imagery from my dreams is often used as a starting point in both my writing and my visual work. I had picked up a number of oilsticks (as opposed to oil pastels) while visiting my parents in Ireland one year and absolutely loved drawing with them. The diptych of swimming angels was created directly from a dream that reflected my obsession at the time with the Wallace Stevens poem “Our Stars Come From Ireland”. This diptych from 1987 is quite large, each panel measuring 102 cm x 67 cm.

Dolphins often appear in my dreams, and this depiction of them churning up the sea is also a direct dream image. “Dream of Dolphins” measures 82 cm x 66 cm and is also from 1987, when I was still living in Toronto.

When I first moved to Ireland, I lived with my parents in Bray and one of our morning rituals was to discuss our dreams over breakfast. This image of a double bass in the water is related to one of my Dad’s dreams; oilstick on oil paper, 51 cm x 76 cm, 1988. 

This chalk pastel drawing is my attempt at visualising a specific dream of my own. It measures 56 cm x 76 cm and is also from 1988.

In 1988 I worked on a number of oilstick drawings, which were an amalgamation of recurring dream images (ladders, the sea, the red-sailed boat, dolphins) before I finally settled on a theme and medium for my 1989 solo exhibition in Dublin. Ladders to the Sea, 77 cm x 57 cm, is one of these dream amalgamation drawings.

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