When some people lay their head down to rest, they fall into a dense, uninterrupted slumber. No dreams are remembered, be they joyous or terrifying, and the sleeper wakes as a blank slate ready to start the day. Photographer Michael Woods is not one of those people.
To articulate his experiences, Woods is staging Dream, an exhibition of 21 large-scale photographic prints at the Meat Market Stables in North Melbourne.
Different installations and environments have been set up across the exhibition’s three rooms to transport the viewer to Woods’s dream world. In the main gallery, a giant glowing crucifix dominates, and a pink, neon “Dreams” sign is locked up in a prison cell. Viewers are encouraged to interact with the environments around them as well as view the photographs.
One image depicts a demented clown, another featuring a deranged Rapunzel stems from a dream Woods had – after watching the Disney film Tangled – in which he imagined what would happen to the young woman were she left stranded in her tower without a saviour.
But the scenarios in the photographs also refer to daydreams, be they ambitions or creative endeavours. Year 45 In Simulation is a comment on how the grind of work life can stifle the creativity required to make your personal goals a reality. The humorous image features a frazzled worker and his looming boss.
While Woods has a career as a commercial, events and editorial photographer – Broadsheet is a client, as is Untitled Group, the event promoters responsible for Pitch Music and Arts Festival and Ability Fest – Dream was devised as a vehicle to merge his commercial experience with his artistic side. The image Tied by Nature was inspired by one of Woods’s own dreams, in which he found himself on the floor of a jungle as vines wrapped tighter and tighter around his body.
From 10am to 10pm.