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QUINTESSENCE

Dreams in Color

"I cannot conceive of beauty itself without seeing it in colour. Life is short, and time and beauty are precious. That is why I seek beauty in the everyday objects that touch our lives, from the smallest plate to the largest vessel. It was that sense of the fleeting nature of time and beauty that inspired my pottery journey. I wanted to realize that aesthetic in clay... I also seek beauty in simplicity. Although my work has been extensively handled and worked I want it to show no unnatural elaboration of fussiness. I want to express clean lines, clear and vibrant colours, and an unforced character."
- Hsiao-Chen Peng, potter, Vancouver, BC

The age-old question, "When you dream, do you dream in color, or black and white?" has often come up in conversation among artists and writers. So much of what we do as artists is multidimensional and seeded in raw concept, worked and reworked in our thoughts and dreams, that dreaming itself becomes part of the creative process. And while the answer for me is both - my happy or creative dreams are often in vivid color while my dark and brooding worries are cast in black and white - the idea that we can choose light and shadow or color intensity within our own mental "sleep studios" is intriguing to me.

Perhaps we are capable of more than imbuing stark visceral dimension to fear, more than shimmering tints of beauty held in our imaginations. Could we surf the nights in unbounded manipulation of time? Collaborate with our unconscious designer to weave objects of character from complex springs, articulate the real from the possible, embrace beauty in things imperfect and natural? Express the simple, the balance in all things at the elemental level?

I like to think so. We are all of us builders, inventors, artists and prophets of our times. I believe we dream in order to create. Line and design are, for me, the skeletal structures of beauty. Color is the palette of the personal, even as structure and geometry are the common language of the world. Close your eyes. Invite the creative. What does your innermost compass track in your night sky?
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