The Dream Builders

   by Abigail Allison for Build A Dream (2014)

In striving to create as surreal a feeling as possible, I tried to use as many of the provided materials as I could. I used cardboard from the outer box and the mannequin box to make the bed that the mannequin (the dreamer) is lying on. I painted the canvas cloth to make the dreamer's quilt and headboard. I cut packing peanuts and glued them to the cardboard bed to make a mattress and pillow. I used the packing peanuts and the aluminum wire to make a thought bubble, which contains the foam ear, suspended by thread pulled from the canvas. The violin player is made of cardboard, painted with white acrylic paint and drawn with black ink. The music notes coming from the violin are made of cardstock. I made the ladder out of thread pulled from the canvas. The platform under the ladder was made from the mannequin stand and the wooden disc. I made the bird and the eggs out of clay and painted them with acrylic paint - the bird's nest is made of plaster and painted as well. The plastic blue hatching egg is held by more cardboard painted figures and glued in place. The little birds/notes coming out of the plastic egg is made of cardstock and drawn with black ink. The easel is made of whittled wooden dowels, held in place by glue - the painting is acrylic paint on the provided canvas.

When i was little, I was really taken by the idea that our thoughts and dreams came from tiny people who were in our brains, working hard to come up with thoughts, some of which were relevant, many of which seemed utterly random. This seemed to explain the subconscious much better than a psychologist could. In my project, I am trying to depict a musician's dreams being built for her by little people in her head using a surreal mixture of two-dimensional figures and three-dimensional objects. While our sleeper is sleeping, the dream builders (who are all two-dimensional) are hard at work: the director is coordinating everyone; there are workers pulling apart the egg, which gives birth to tiny birds resembling music notation; the violinist is playing music for the ear (which is what the dreamer is hearing) -the painter is creating the scenery for the next scene in the night's dreams. The bird on the nest is in the shape of a violin (with F-holes on its back, and scroll for a head), incubating eggs of musical ideas, which hatch and work their way to the ear via the violinist.