I have been having crazy catfish dreams. Literally, I dreamed giant man-sized catfish were swimming the river near our house. The night after, weird pie-faced shape-shifting clowns were chasing me down. And last night, even stranger things too unsettling to speak of.
All these dreams have coincided with a burst of creativity and a completely new direction for my art that I hadn’t anticipated at all. For over 6 months, I’ve been thinking about portraits, collage portraits of locals and friends, unknowns and quasi-famous folk.
Then in a bout of darkness, the bear in the desert bubbles up. It’s the sheer desolate nature of feeling down, where there’s nothing there, just an emptiness that you want to end. The bear becomes a manifestation of my childhood, the feeling of being an outsider and from there, all this works starts rolling out in a frenzy.
None of these works are complete, but the dreams and being a kid and all that stuff you’ve left behind is right there under the surface. I realise we never really grow up, we’re always kids pretending to be grown-ups. We have the same fears and insecurities, we just learn to cover them up better with maschismo – and drinking.
I like where they’re headed – even if the journey is a little unsettling.