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PATRICIA CASEY
Elsewhere

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There is much mystery as to the purpose of dreams. Neurophilosophers and psychoanalysts cannot agree whether: their function is restorative, or whether they provide an opportunity for learning and consolidation of memories. Are they a rehearsal for our waking lives? How do our brains distinguish between dreaming and waking thought? Like memory and particularly the memories attached to photographs, dreams do not track the truth reliably. We entertain the false, the fantastical and often the bizarre while we sleep.

 

 

Freud linked dreams with sexuality and Jung with archetypes. Many cultures interpret dreams as having particular spiritual or religious meanings that must be used as guides for our day-to-day living. Some see dreams as an escape or even as a premonition of things to come. This series consists of youthful dreamers and their dreamscapes. They wander through fantastical tableaus with friendly creatures or lie in states of repose far removed from every day reality. Philosopher Roland Barthes described the photographic punctum as: … the element which rises from the scene, shoots out like an arrow, and pierces me.

These photographic montages are richly coloured with glittering embroidery like tendrils of sleep, piercing and disrupting the photographic surface and enhancing the sense of the unreal. The act of stitching upon these images inverts Barthes punctum and this, together with shifts in perspective and composition, unsettle the eye.

 

 

They are beautiful scenes, yet we know they are not true – there is something not quite right. The viewer is uncertain whether the dreamers in these works are part of the experience of merely observers of the scene.

My practice is largely based (among other things) on questioning the reliability of photography as an aid to memory. I create tableaus, landscapes and happenings that have never actually taken place. In our daily lives, we all use photography to help us to remember, but I would argue that photographic images are not reliable representations of reality or truth and that there is not even a definitive truth in life at all. The piercing of the image with the needle and thread disrupts the photographic surface and also subverts the photographic message of the image.

 

 

Winner of the Head On Photographic Portrait Prize in 2006, Patricia was also a finalist in the Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2002 and 2005 and the National Photography Prize at the Albury Regtional Gallery in 2010. She has exhibited overseas in China and America and extensively across Australia, including the Queensland Centre for Photography in 2009 and 2010.

The photographic montages were made by combining landscapes with dioramas and specimens found in museums, in Sydney, Washington and New York. The static nature of these specimens adds to the sense of the unreal and uncanny. Elsewhere continues my ongoing research into memory, imagination and dreaming.

For further information, please email ng@ngart.com.au

 

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Languid Adaptation

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Being There

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Lucid Dreaming

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Free Association

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Fell into a Dream

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If I were Certain

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Metamorphisis Of Plants

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Migratory Bird

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Never Ever

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Niaive Introspection

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Prometheus and the Eagle

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Safely Forgotten

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Second Sight

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So Close

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The Fallen

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The Disguised Wish

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The Interpretation

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The Inward Eye

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The Primal Phenomenon

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The Recurrent Nature

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The Trinity Breathing Clouds

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The Twins Signs Signifiers

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Two Dreamers One Dream