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Grandmother's Bronx Poppy Field Vision, 2022, 15"x 12" x 2"

The artist's grandmother Dorothy Brockway told of how, while growing up in the Bronx in the early 1900s, she and a friend discovered a field of poppies but later were never able to find it again. Dorothy saw the mysterious field as evidence of a spiritual dimension existing beyond what we see every day with our physical eyes.

Dream Machines

Hand-built and wheel-thrown earthenware with machine parts wire, and sheet metal, wood mounts.

In modern times, the machine has become a common metaphor for the human body. Dreams and spiritual experiences, while they may seem less real to some people, can be as important to our wellbeing and growth as our physical experiences and body systems are. They can help center our priorities, balance our relationships, and move us to courageous and creative action. As Carl Jung suggested, the parts of dreams we remember are usually fragments of a larger symbol system that we may not fully comprehend at first, and so the dream narratives are depicted here as fragments of unknown machines—like archeological discoveries brought up from the subconscious.

The artist uses earthenware clay to hand-build or throw components on a potter’s wheel, designing them to fit found machine parts. The clay is then screen-printed and painted with a variety of colored clay slips and glazes including terra sigillata, a technique developed by ancient Greek and Roman potters, and fired multiple times, adding color and detail in each firing. Finally, the ceramic elements are mounted with the machine parts.

The Artist Dreams of Starting Down an Uncertain Path, 2022, 13"x 12" x 3"

Inspired by a waking dream that the artist had as a young college student trying to decide what to study, the imagery here reflects her conflicting feelings of apprehension and optimism at the prospect of becoming an artist.

The Artist Dreams of a Missed Opportunity, 2022, 20"x 18" x 4"

This imagery comes from the artist's recurring dream about visiting Paris but never managing to see the city because she spends the whole trip in the hotel room doing chores—an example of a dream attempting to alert her of the need for balance in her life.

The Dream of Embracing the Monsters, 2022, 12"x 9" x 4"

Children often dream of monsters as they reach milestones and become more independent. Welcoming our monsters can show we are ready to grow and to acknowledge the parts of ourselves we fear.

The Dream of Harnessing the Monsters, 2023, 11"x 7" x 7"

Many dream psychologists think monsters represent feared parts of our unconscious that are fighting for expression. Confronting these monsters can bring empowering and creative insights.

The Dream of an Approaching Storm, 2022, 7.5"x 7" x 5.5"

According to Carl Jung, storms and other manifestations of darkness are a common dream archetype, especially when a person is in a period of conflict, change, or needing to express strong emotions. Clouds conceal the unknown, but lightning can signal a flash of insight needed to move forward.

Elias Howe's Productive Nightmare, 2022, 8"x 7" x 6"

Inventor Elias Howe, while struggling to make a working sewing machine, dreamed of being chased by cannibals. Noticing that the cannibals' spears had holes in the tips, Howe realized that he needed to move the sewing machine needles' thread holes to their points—an example of creative problem solving through dreams.

Lehi's Dream Revisited, 2023, 35"x 22" x 3"

IThe Book of Mormon account of the prophet Lehi's dream has moved generations of Latter-Day Saints to act on their faith. Some of its symbols, such as the tree of life, are archetypes shared with many other spiritual traditions.

Lehi's Dream Revisited, 2023 (detail)

Dream Machines (installation view), 2023, The Weight Room Gallery,

Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

Dream Machines (installation view), 2023, The Weight Room Gallery,

Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

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