Hymnal of Dreams
Elijah Gowin's Hymnal of Dreams is influenced by his ancestral roots in the southern United States and by the rich heritage of magical realism in American art and literature. His intricate constructions fuse folk art, theater, memory, and dreams, resulting in creations that are strangely familiar yet beyond the realm of pure logic. These visual puzzles invite exploration and discovery on the part of the viewer. A steel frame bed hovers in a dimly lit forest clearing, slung by various lengths of rope from the surrounding tree; an elderly woman pauses by a whitewashed building, her hands grasping a series of ropes tied to the fluttering silhouettes of birds; an arcane board game lies unfinished, its playing surface edged by old family snapshots. These images and others comprise Gowin's mysterious and evocative Hymnal of Dreams. The power of his photographs lies in their ability to guide us into the subconscious, where dreams and reality commingle.