Nina Davis ‘Oliver’, oil on board (detail)
The dream state has been the subject of much creative exploration – poets, playwrites, visual artists, musicians, film makers and psychoanalysts have all sought to give waking expression to our unconscious. Refreshingly, it is not the dream that is chased by Nina Davis in her series of sleepers; hers is a study of the other side of sleep – the exterior physicality of human beings in a state of vulnerable yet impenetrable repose.
Snoozers on trains, stoned slumberers, couch cat-nappers – none have escaped Davis’ observation and swift painterly record. Through capturing the definitive unguarded moment she creates intimate portraits of individuals that are connected through a common and universal experience and forces us to consider an undervalued state of being.
In this way Davis challenges our experience of visual images to which we have become so accustomed – we move and work within a landscape of faces, staring out from magazines, bus shelters, billboards and flat screen monitors all engaging us with eye contact and selling us dreams. These faces can act as distractions from the daily grind or can counter the mine-field of references to ‘difference’ that fill our newspapers, inciting anxiety and good old fashioned terror. In this landscape we can feel we are always on our guard, always looking. Yet by the age of 60 we would have spent 20 years of our lives sleeping (five of them dreaming) – engaged only in neurological recharging, a respite from being aware.
*High resolution images are available if required, please contact the Director Caroline Wales, contact information below.
Horus & Deloris | Contemporary Art Space | Copyright © 2006