DreamLand "The Ride"

   by Karen Holley and Pamela Wissinger for Build A Dream (2014)

We each are experienced in drawing and painting, which was essential in conceptualizing, designing, and constructing this project. We also called upon pattern-making, sculpting, sewing, and metal-working skills, and had the opportunity to try steam-bending wood.

To alter and create new shapes, portions of the supplied canvas board and the exterior cardboard box from the kit were soaked in water; the plastic egg was melted; the novelty foam Van Gogh ear was heated until it cracked and broke apart.

Acrylic and oil paint, nail polish, colored pencils, regular and metallic markers, and various glues were used to create the final effects.

The provided materials were used in the following ways:

8" x 10" Tempered Hardboard - Ride's Entrance Floor; "Burma Shave" Consciousness Signs; Ride's "Bed" Cars

9" x 12" Canvas Cloth - Ride's "Bed" Linens; Soaring Woman's Nightgown and Hair; Cloud on Sun/Moon Pole; Ear Clock's Patches

8" x 10" Wire Mesh - Ride's Track Entrances and Exits; Monster's Head and Hands; Ear Clock's Face

12" x .25" Aluminum Rod - Cork screw shape and Nails on the DreamLand Headboard Entrance Sign

32' Aluminum Wire Spool - DreamLand Headboard Entrance Sign; Ride's Track and Cross Bars; Monster's Arms; Ear Clock Hands; Nightstand Ticket Booth Drawer Pull; Personal Submarine's Port Holes; Torso Support for Man in Blue Pajamas

Natural Sea Sponge - Monster's Fur

12 yds. Nylon Thread Spool - Laundry Line for Money Lanterns; Monster's Tail; Hand Stitching Cloud on Sun/Moon Pole

Plastic Egg - Wave Shape behind Personal Submarine

8.5" x 11" Card Stock Paper - Money Lanterns Photocopies of One Dollar; Entrance Rug Photocopy; Five Pairs of Slippers at the Entrance; Ear Clock Hands; Nightstand Ticket Booth Lamp Shade; Stripe on Sun/Moon Pole; Dream House's Second Floor Rug

1 lb. Van Aken Modeling Clay - Man in Blue Pajamas; Sleeping Riders

6" x 8" Canvas Board - Curved Entrance Mirror; Passion Pit Billboard; "Burma Shave" Consciousness Signs

15' Plaster Cloth Wrap - Brain; Ride's Track Entrances and Exits; Snoring Entrance Mask; Monster's Head; Dream House attachment to Brain; Brain Stem

Spindle from Plaster Cloth Wrap - Personal Submarine

12" x 1" Styrofoam Rod - Brain Stem; Personal Submarine attachment to Brain; Monster's Eyes; Hammers attachment to DreamLand Headboard Entrance Sign

8" Wooden Mannequin - Disassembled pieces for Base, Top Spinning Bead, and Light Beams on Sun/Moon Pole; Ear Clock Springs and Screws; Personal Submarine's Periscopes, Propeller, and Trim; Soaring Woman's Head, Chest, Hands, and Feet; Monster's Mouth and Nose

Mannequin Box - Dream House

12" x .375" Square Basswood Dowel (2) - Laundry Line Pole for Money Lanterns; Support Posts for Ride's Track; Dream House Framing

12" x .25" Square Basswood Dowel (2) - "Burma Shave" Consciousness Sign Posts; Passion Pit Billboard Posts; Laundry Line Pole for Money Lanterns; Support Posts for Ride's Track; DreamLand Headboard Entrance Sign

5/16" Round Wood Dowel - Sun/Moon Pole

1.5" Disc (2) - Sun/Moon Pole's Faces

Novelty Foam Van Gogh Ear - Ear Clock

Corn Starch Biodegradable Packing Peanuts - Brain's Surface; Sun/Moon Pole Cloud's Stuffing; Soaring Woman's Nightgown Stuffing; Monster's Mohawk; Snoring Entrance Mask Facial Feature Enhancements

Mystery Build Box - Personal Submarine; DreamLand Entrance Sign's Hammers, Headboard, Lettering Base, Clouds, and Hand Saw; Dream House's Basement Stones, Roof, Bay Window, Floors, Potted Tree, and Steps; Nightstand Ticket Booth and Lamp Base; Monster's Body and Feet; Sleeping Riders' Bodies

We were having conversations about the different kinds of dreams that we've had in our pasts, and talking about them conjured images of carnival side-shows where you never know what you may see around the corner or in the next amusement booth. But there are always bright colors, funny images, and sometimes mysterious happenings. It reminded me of "fun houses" that distort your sense of space and time and create unreal perceptions similar to the surreal qualities of dreams. Having a dream is like an amusement park ride with bumps, dips, and fast blind corners where you are both frightened and entertained at the same time. You may enter through a giant clown's mouth into a garish land of the unpredictable, but you typically end up exactly where you started.

In building a dream, you first have to ask what you dream about. Seeking fame and fortune, material wealth, lusting after the seemingly unattainable? What does that look like, or what would represent those desires? Or, are you bedeviled by repetitive tasks, frustrated by the mundane from your waking hours, perhaps pursued by that monster that lives under your bed?

DreamLand is a mindscape. Creation, planning, and building activities all take place first in the imagining mind. This project is a representation of one such vision.