David Warren


THE INNER SEA

The passage into slumber at night finally occurs after a few restless minutes of tossing and turning in my bed. Just as a ship leaves a harbor, my consciousness slips into the dark waters of sleep. The grand landscape of the oceans surface beckons my vessel to exploration. Just as one would pull back curtains to reveal the sunlight of morning, the very essence of my being is bombarded with various images and experiences that reside in the inner realm of my dreams. Imagine a lone ship sailing towards the vastness where the starry edge of night and the sea meet. If you can wrap your mind around the vastness of space above and the depths of the ocean below, you might find the idea alarming, or soothing. By drawing on the vast well of images that flow from the realm of unconscious thoughts and dreams, I am able to create a visual world that can be entered through my work. Images and feelings toss and sway over the vast pool of my unconscious thought. This representation of my inner self is The Inner Sea. Printmaking techniques are the visual process I use to express my dreams, ideas, and feelings relating to The Inner Sea. Engraved and etched copper plates are the matrix designs. Each copper plate is inked individually using a la poupee and retrossauge methods of applying color. The copper plate is then printed on acid-free laid paper. I think of these prints as the union of relief sculpture, painting, drawing, and photographic images. The process of drawing into metal gives me great satisfaction. Even though engraved lines into metal will eventually dissipate over time, they give the illusion of permanence. The inner visions are burned into my mind and I burn them with corrosives into copper. Just as a Phoenix arises from the ashes of its destruction, the clarity of my imagery is realized after the acid has completed its work. William Blake, the renowned poet and artist, preferred this method not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for the fiery act of transformation from clean copper to transfigured tablet of imagery. Thoughts and feelings merge and clash like waves in the sea of unconscious thought. Carl Jung refers to the process of grouping and regrouping of unconscious thought, "the unconscious is never quiescent in the sense of being inactive, but is ceaselessly engaged in grouping and regrouping its contents." This description lends itself to being a metaphor for the sea. Deep and mysterious, the sea is in constant motion. Like the sea, my work mirrors the ever changing motion of the waves my unconscious.

David Warren