Paintings by graduate student Heather Stivison.
The astrophysicist Carl Sagan wrote “The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home.” Walking alone along the beach, I often find myself overwhelmed by the vastness of the ocean and by the sense of how inconsequential human life is. And yet, in these very same moments when I feel insignificant in the limitless cosmos, I also feel a sense of “oneness” with life. These are the complex sensations of the sublime.
In a departure from the traditional, Kantian, heroic, masculine, “conquering” sense of the sublime, the works in Waking Dreams express a more contemporary, meditative, and feminist perspective. These dreamlike, multi-layered expressions speak of an overwhelming sense of connectedness with biologic origins, nature, and the cosmos beyond our known world. Some images are more explosive, some are more meditative. I invite the eye to travel around and through the many layers of paint, to contemplate and imagine, and to question layers of meaning beyond rational comprehension.