Ifanyone remembers my efforts earlier this year at sculpting my own head - with exact measurements - and plenty of struggle along the way (getting each degree of 360 accurate was a headache - no pun intended!) then this is what became of Part Two - abstracting the finished head in line with an art movement or some other element of inspiration. I chose Surrealism because I wanted to explore a recurrent dream I'd been having about houses - dreams where I 'd be in a familiar house that would suddenly reveal itself to have an unfamiliar room, doorway, hall etc. There were many variations but the constant was a sense of discovery. Sometimes it was disturbing. Sometimes it was exhilarating. I'd expressed this a while before in some of my illustrations, finding that my figures were ending up with houses atop their heads. It's a classic dream I suppose but what I didn't know while I was doing this part of the sculpture was of an amazing exhibition that had taken place in London at the Barbican about a year ago called The Surreal House which explored the relationship between Surrealism and the House - something I had naively been unaware of and thought was MY connection!!!!!
Hardly. The Surrealist Declaration of 1926 states:
We have no intention of changing men's habits but we have hopes of proving to them how fragile their thoughts are and on what cellars they have erected their unsteady houses.
The house was the Surrealists preferred metaphor for the psyche and unconscious as well as holding much symbolism for Freud who put this to great use in his psychoanalysis.Once I had discovered the Barbicon exhibition and all the traditional connections between the house and Surrealism the exercise became so much richer. I ended up getting a lot out of it and maybe even decoded my own 'house' a bit along the way. Particularly fun was making the new eyeballs to reside in my 'unconscious' house and creating the 'blind spot' in the consciousness! The only down side? I've stopped having the dream.
PS A fantastic 30 second video for the Barbican exhibition is on You tube and worth watching here. It so wonderfully captures the eerie place of the house in dreams.