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Many thanks, Joyce Lynn, for curating the Wake Up! exhibit at Claudia Chapline Gallery , Stinson Beach, CA, and for follow-up coverage in the Pacific Sun https://pacificsun.com/awakened-in-art/ as well as @ PlumDreamsMedia.com.

Awakened in Art: Dream and art tell difficult political truths

Dreams of 1990’s Gulf War inspired Santa Rosa artist Marsha Connell’s ‘Dream Vessels’ series.

Like surrealism, the political-art movement opposing totalitarianism in the aftermath of the horrors of WWI, the power of art and dreaming in these turbulent times holds the possibility for social change.

Last week, less than a month before the 2018 midterm elections, a cadre of Northern California artists shared their art and held a dialogue to raise awareness about U.S. domestic and foreign policies in the month-long mixed-media exhibition “Wake-Up! The Political Power of Art and Dreams,” held at the Claudia Chapline Gallery in Stinson Beach on Oct. 28, that now continues online.

Works in that show included Flag of Death, created by artist and gallery owner Claudia Chapline, which graphically depicts the reality of U.S. foreign policy. Chapline says the piece came from a dream she had on March 11, 2006, the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. “For me, the flag painting symbolises the discrepancy between American ideals and manifest American policy,” says Chapline.

Santa Rosa artist Marsha Connell’s “Dream Vessels” collage works, featuring landscapes spiked with light, were inspired by dreams Connell had a month after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. She dreamt that women writers, artists and poets were brought to observe preparations for the first Persian Gulf War when a voice boomed out, “The women soldiers will go first!”

“I felt a distress so profound there were no words for it,” Connell says.

A friend suggested the dream meant the artist was to bear witness, and the collages became her way to communicate and begin a healing process that ultimately brought her peace.

She calls the collages “Dream Vessels,” because each dreamlike picture contains a vessel. “The vessel offers the possibility of transformation, hope and reconciliation of opposites,” she says.

Joyce Lynn is founder and editor-in-chief of Plum Dreams Media. See works from ‘Wake-Up! The Political Power of Art and Dreams’ at plumdreamsmedia.com.

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