"Look here, I know there is nothing for me to believe in
and I know that before long I shall be leaving,
but stretching my heart to be a string
to the azure I started to sing
to him I search for in vain as alive or when dead later
whom no one knows where to find here or in the ether.
But now as my muscles get softer just
so I have a feeling my friend, that in the dust,
where I was groping by clogs of earth and souls
I was the guest of a grand and unknown Lord."
I am a British-Hungarian artist based in Lincolnshire. My work addresses painting as a means of translation, it brings together interrogations concerning identity, our personal and collective unconscious, and delves into the symbolism, messages and representation of dreams.
I worked as an architect for fifteen years and fine art practice has always been an important factor in my life. In 2016 I began my studies for an MFA degree in Nottingham.
I believe that our unconscious has important messages for us, in the form of dreams, which are worth listening to. Dreams can help us to gain better insight into problems, offer new and creative solutions, and lead to a new way of thinking. Not only because our brain can work freely during sleeping when there are no disturbances from daily life, but because it has access to both the personal and the collective unconscious. This inner world of ours, where a higher intelligence resides, can be a source of imaginative wisdom and understanding.
Looking for the latent content of dreams, interpreting the messages of this symbolic language gives us the opportunity to find the meaning of life, to fulfil our true destiny, to make full use of our potential. Dreams are an inexhaustible resource of inspiration.
Dreams make the unconscious accessible; showing us what we do not know, what we do not notice.
My work brings together interrogations concerning identity, our personal and collective unconscious, and delves into the symbolism, messages and representation of dreams.
People of ancient cultures were great believers in dreams and their powers. They were convinced that dreams were oracles, messages of gods or demons; and depending on their culture they had different rituals facilitating insightful dreams.
Unfortunately this knowledge has gradually lost its importance during the development of mankind. Dream appreciation and interpretation gained back some of its importance through the writings of S. Freud and C. G. Jung, and through the works of the surrealists in arts.
I believe that dream representation can take us back to that lost ancient knowledge of mankind, make the human unconscious accessible; showing us what we do not know, what we do not notice.
Dreams can help us to gain better insight into problems, offer new and creative solutions, and lead to a new way of thinking. Not only because our brain can work freely during sleeping when there are no disturbances from daily life, but because it has access to both the personal and the collective unconscious. This inner world of ours, where a higher intelligence resides, can be a source of imaginative wisdom and understanding. Looking for the latent content of dreams, interpreting the messages of this symbolic language gives us the opportunity to find the meaning of life, to fulfil our true destiny, to make full use of our potential. Learning about mythology, folk tales and customs can take us closer to the understanding of the symbolic language of dreams.
Painting dreams, using dreams as a basis for visual arts has always been present in human history, but the most well-known art movement that merged dreaming and reality into a kind of absolute reality, was the Surrealism. I combine their approach with a keen interest in Jungian psychology; agreeing with Jeanette Winterson’s specification, that artistic constructions are not private dreams but collective (i.e. archetypal) visions. The world the artist’s imagination creates “is not a private nightmare, not even a private dream, it is a shared human connection that traces the possibilities of past and future in the whorl of now.” (1.Onega, S. (2013). Jeanette Winterson. Oxford University Press.)
My work examines the representation of nocturnal dreams, focusing mainly on those which appear in the hypnagogic phase of sleeping. These are the ones that go through our minds as we fall asleep or slowly awaken. In the state of lucid dreaming, I use the capability of the unconscious to create snapshots related to a given topic or problem, and then consciously pick up on them. Interpreting these oneiric images alongside my dreams, with the help of a Jungian analyst, makes it possible to choose the ones that I feel are worth investigating and portraying either on their own or as a collection. Some of my dreams are transferred to canvas without any translation, while others are corrected by waking reasoning. I prefer to develop a painting soon after the dream experience, when the vision is still very clear in my head. In this case the painting will not only depict a scene or an object, but can give back the feelings related to the dream. My artworks are characterized by unrealistic, vivid colours which give them dreamlike quality.
I investigate the potential of lucid dreaming in the creation process.
I paint mainly with acrylics, incorporating text elements in different languages into my paintings as metaphors for the unconscious and as symbols of multiculturality and constant change which are important factors in my own life. The same way as these texts cannot be fully read or understood, the information from our unconscious cannot be completely retrieved.
On some of my paintings I apply figurative newspaper collage pieces emphasizing the actual meaning of the work. Layering, transparency, positive and negative space and distorted geometrical shapes are used to symbolize the depths of the unconscious. Works depicting human struggle and the oppressive forces of society address the collective challenges of our moment in history.
Creating my final dreamscapes consists of the process of translation and the difficulty of transferring information through the boundaries of language, culture and personal experience. This very much relates to the way I see the act of portraying dreams as smuggling information from the unconscious - an incommunicable inner world - to the real life; going beyond the manifest content through interpreting its language written in symbols and metaphors.
I think that to live a happy and satisfying life, we have to believe in our own significance and in a meaningful existence, whilst acknowledging and respecting the uniqueness and intrinsic value of every human being. To achieve this, having a clear sense of one’s own identity and individuality are crucial.
The theoretical base for my works mainly consists of the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung. The main questions for me belong to his concept of individuation, describing the process by which we can fulfil our true potential. Discovering and getting as close to our real, inner self as possible, lifting the veil of the ego, understanding our own identity will give us a grasp of true reality, a full comprehension of the world surrounding us.
Why is individuation important? When it comes to decisions, it is better if we can make our choices without being led to make that decision. To know what is the best for us we have to be aware of our true self, our real Self; and not behaving according to assumed or real social expectations. Not having a culturally influenced viewpoint when it comes to conclusions. Understanding ourselves and knowing the unconscious factors shaping human decisions can lead to sound and well-founded decisions.
I believe that art can be a catalyst for individual and cultural transformation, enhance human potential and promote the individual and common good.
Copyright @ Szilvia Ponyiczki 2016-2020