I often have convoluted, elaborately detailed (and sometimes exhausting) dreams. They swirl with color and tumble inside my head with reckless abandon. I try to record the most vivid ones when I awake before they disappear into the ether of the day. One dream in particular stands out:
Connie-Marie and I are walking through a junk store filled with old toys. We wander up and down the aisles, observing the crazy, colorful junk. I come upon a shelf filled with miniature people and I lean down to look closer. I’m surprised to discover these little folks are alive. They interact and travel around their tiny environment. I trace their elaborate ecosystem of towns, farms, mountains and rivers with my eyes.
I’m soon standing inside the scene, holding one of the small people in my hands. To my horror, I see that she’s missing her head. It occurs to me that it might be my fault, so I begin to search around my feet. I then spot a miniature glass display case containing five or six different heads. There are buttons under each head allowing them to speak. I push them one by one.
At first, I hear static mixed with garbled, indecipherable voices. But suddenly one of the heads speaks in a clear voice: “When the birds come home, don’t look them in the eyes.”
When I first began working on “Inside Her Head,” I envisioned that each image would have the look of a surrealistic dreamscape, some with slightly menacing undertones. I imagined an odd combination of scale and focus. I initially tried to do this solely using photography. But after numerous experiments and test shots, I realized I needed to go a different route. The resulting images are composites of photographs with digital painting techniques using Photoshop and Topaz Impression.