Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Dream Journal

On Sunday's market, when people asked me where I get the ideas for my books, I told them that they come to me in dreams. And although I really get ideas from all sorts of sources (not least, other book artists) it is true that sometimes I wake up from dreams about books, such as a pink pop-up house for dead family members to live in.

In honour of my book-inspiring dreams, I decided to create a dream journal that would be as laden with symbolism and as challenging to access and to read as are dreams.

Each dream is written on a page made as a Mobius strip, so that it is a surface with only one side and one edge (formed by joining the ends of a rectangle twisted 180 degrees). Since most book pages tend to have two sides and three edges the Mobius page is a challenge to the waking mind, yet just the kind of thing that we encounter in sleep. M.C. Escher was fond of depicting Mobius strips in his dreamlike drawings.

When I bound the pages together, I was delighted that the book looks a bit like the brain where dreams emerge from, except its green instead of grey. Because the resulting book is as round and delicate as a brain I put it inside a (clamshell) box instead of ordinary covers so that the Mobius pages don't get squished flat. The box is not skull shaped, that would be very cool but is far beyond my current skills and available time. It's a chunky half cube (15 cm diameter and 7 cm deep) . I lined it with painted butterflies from Italy (via Passion for Paper) and the outside is a metallic bronze with inset gold titles.

The journal records my dreams during autumn and winter 2005. I have had a number of reoccurring themes in recent dreams including bicycles, being chased by animals, exploring ramshackle or messy houses and planting trees. In one of my animal dreams, I was surrounded by a cloud of butterflies. The butterflies lining the Dream Journal box are not quite contained, spilling out across the outside surface of the box, in the same way that dreams can seep into waking awareness if you catch them quick enough.

I'll post a pic if I can borrow a camera before I have to send this off to the exhibition I created it for.

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