hypnopompic and my own hallucinations

art-speration, art-splanations, revelations

I came across these beautiful weavings by Finnish designer/artist Kustaa Saksi in a blog post by Miss Moss.  Yes, they are trippy, and vibrant, yet subdued in a really appealing way, but the reason I had to catalogue them here is this quote/definition of the title of the series “Hypnopompic”:

Hypnopompic refers to a state of sensory confusion leading out of sleep, when the state of awakening gets mixed with the dream world into a surreal reality. It is an exceptional state of consciousness, in which one may experience the presence of, or see creatures and animals, such as spiders, monkeys and insects. Hypnopompic state has also been affiliated with visual delusions caused by migraine. These graphic patterns, designs and textures are thought to have contributed to the traditions of ornamentation, mosaic and textile.”

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For as long as I can remember, I have hallucinated (visual, auditorial, physical) while falling asleep and waking.  Even though I know now that it’s a completely normal phenomenon (and symptom of narcolepsy) called “hypnogogic hallucination” that many a brilliant historical figure experienced in their day, I still sometimes feel a bit off my rocker (the fact that the only “famous person” I can think of off the top of my [wikipedia's] head who mentioned experiencing the phenomenon is Edgar Allen Poe does not plead my sanity case).

…But these weavings are so inspiring.  My hallucinations are sometimes terrifying (I’ve been told I cry), sometimes exhilarating, sometimes funny (I’ve been told I giggle), so duh, I don’t know why I haven’t already considered THEM “inspiring.”  Apparently, some people even actively try and learn how to achieve them (like they do with lucid dreams…WHICH my visions have always lead right into–or out of)  I guess if anyone wants some tips just ask…But be forewarned: nothing is worse than having something really cool or beautiful or what-have-you in your possession during a dream you’re controlling, only to wake and see it there! with you! in your bed! and then lose it to reality… Huge bummer for me as a kid.

Anyhoo, on an art note: these really jumped out at me because the most common things I see in my hypnogogic state are bugs, particularly spiders.  I have been trying to think of a way to tap into the whole weird dream thing for a good long while, and these are definitely inspiration in the right direction.  Also love the concept of weaving (a very feminine history which also references spiders–Mother Spider taught us to weave), meshing with my very physical painting style (rooted in the very macho action painters of the 50s)—little gender discussion about materiality there.  Also, the concept of “mother” as spider has been coming up a lot in my work lately.  …AND the comments in the quote about mosaics makes me better understand my tendency towards pattern work and this sort of thing…  WHAT A SERENDIPITOUS FIND! THIS IS SO DENSE.  I’M SO EXCITED.

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