The brief was to create an object out of something dream like and intangible.
Our group started by sharing ideas of what dreams/dream like states can be. We wrote words freely. We visually connected words that seemed to us to link together and from this began to pull out ideas for how to make a tangible object.
We settled on using white feathers as a key component, reasoning that they can have an ethereal quality which conveys dreaminess.
We sketched some ideas. An initial thought was to create a tree like structure out of wire, using the feathers as the ‘leaves’, branching off in different directions to demonstrate the way in which dreams can lead into various and unexpected and places in our minds.
We decided to incorporate a mirror, which would add further dream like qualities such as not knowing what is real/what is the reflection, and perhaps bringing to mind thoughts of water, which can often appear in dreams.
We eventually settled on suspending the feathers from the roof of a box-like structure using fishing wire. We decided on this for simplicity and impact, reasoning that in the time we had we could create something striking using this simple method.
Through making our box we went through a number of ideas for its construction and finish. We first of all tried thin wire for its outline, wanting to be able to see in from all angles. This didn’t have much structural integrity! We therefore moved to folded cardboard for the edges. This allowed us to add sides, which we decided were needed so that the feathers would stand out.
We settled on two sides with black interior walls, which meant that the inside of the box could be easily viewed from the open sides. There would be a strong contrast with the white feathers, and we added a black roof to further enhance this contrast.
We photographed the box in a number of different ways, some of the overall space, some of details, with differing lighting. In doing so we noticed themes emerging, a key one being contrast – night and day, light and dark, soft and hard, shade and brightness.
This seemed to reflect some of the ways in which we experience dreams – they can be light, soft and uplifting, or dark, heavy and troublesome. The mirrored reflection of the feathers in our images conveyed a sense of not knowing what was real and what was the reflection, adding to the dreaminess of the space. Through using different lighting we could also play with the shadows which added further dream like qualities.
The end result is a floaty, dreamy and light space, enclosed in a contrasting dark rigid structure, casting shadows of both elements. The juxtaposition of these two features of the space signifies the contrasting ways in which we can experience dreams and dream like states.