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Jay Scantling 

Artist’s Statement: 

I am fortunate as an artist to have the ability to dream lucidly, or be conscious of the fact that I
am dreaming while it is happening. This allows me to actively create while I am dreaming,
consciously directing characters and storyline. When I awaken I translate these stories into
multimedia artworks. I am often asked how I came to work in so many different materials. I
began as a 2-D artist, painting and drawing and writing in a dream journal. Later, I became
frustrated as this did not feel like enough to communicate my ideas. The paintings felt like
windows that I could see through but not touch what was inside. I decided that I shouldn’t be
limited by medium and that I should instead let the visions take me where they will. The
paintings started to become more three-dimensional, and I shifted into sculpture and
installations and then later into time based works in video. I find this allows me surpass the limit of the window and truly step through the door into that other place in my head and allow others to see inside, if only in a veiled way. In particular, I like to integrate trash, abandoned items, and thrift store finds as materials into my work as this has a symbolic significance for me. Things that are cast off or discarded reflect those traumatized and unwanted parts of the self we dissociate or repress but which return in our dreams and can be transformed into the raw material for creativity.
Drawing on a variety of influences from collage and animation to superhero comics, my art
shows you a dream world that is dark, yet silly and whimsical with recurring characters that
inhabit the world. These inhabitants, are in fact, all pieces of me with specific jobs that
ultimately align with the purpose of preserving the child, represented by a young girl, a symbol
for my true self. Some of these characters were created as guardians to protect the child (like
the patchwork Frankenstein Knifewing and his monstrous humanoid counterpart simply called
The Guardian), only to become persecutors themselves. Others originated to interact with the world outside my head (like the extraverted, perfect Princess), and still others serve as private entertainment when I cannot interact with that world (like the raven-clad trickster, Silas). A child’s toy castle becomes a psychological labyrinth of rooms symbolic of the inner defenses of the mind, overseen on surveillance monitors by a playfully maniacal Grand Director with a quirky sense of humor.

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