“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis
Has sleep ever unlocked a dream filled with longing for a place you’ve never been? Revealed an unknown country you’ve been seeking all your life? And in those dreams, do you become a child again, unreservedly delighting in the beauty of an unexplainable, impossible, wonder-filled place?
These new “Dreams of Home” pieces came about when three magical influences converged:
Remnants of images from my recent body of work, “SLEEP” continue to float in my mind. These lingering ethereal landscapes found a new voice in these small pieces.
Watching my young son draw and paint has been immensely inspirational. His reckless use of color, his uninhibited, expressive lines, and his joyful and unfettered approach is a motivational education in creating honestly from the heart.
As my son becomes more interested in reading, I find myself collecting richly illustrated children’s books, and dwelling inside the enchanting worlds I find there.
At the intersection of these three influences was something otherworldly. Secret landscapes pierced with a homesickness for a place I’d never been. Unrecognizable yet familiar. Unearthly, yet ultimate solace.
I painted these abstract places hiding in the back of my mind because even now, I lack words to describe them. C.S. Lewis does come very close:
“In speaking of this desire for our own far off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter. Wordsworth’s expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat. If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past, he would not have found the thing itself, but only the reminder of it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering. The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
The ”Dreams of Home” pieces were made using the same ink and acrylic techniques from the SLEEP works, and line work was done with colored pencils borrowed from my son. It was a wonderful experience to create these, and I look forward to seeing how the influences behind them make their way into future works.
The four “Dreams of Home” pieces will be available for purchase on May 20 at thehandmadepopup.com.
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Classically-trained musician, visual artist, and synesthete Christina Eve has a rare neurological condition called synesthesia that merges the senses, allowing her to see colors and shapes when she hears music. As a synesthetic artist, she translates what she hears into visual form so others can see the beauty of sound.
In addition to portraying music, Christina uses aurally-stimulated images to illustrate other invisible things like grief and despair, hope and redemption. Her current focus is to give voice to the complex and inexpressible experiences of humanity as a way to offer empathy and compassion, and to encourage others to seek out light and color hidden in the dark.