The interpretation of dreams

Over the next few weeks, we will be speaking to participants of the MFA in Digital Arts, as they launch their annual exhibition, this time entitled SixFiveSix and taking place at Spazju Kreattiv (St James Cavalier) in Valletta from May 6 to June 6. This week, we spoke to Sara Pace – who delves into dream worlds

Dream on a hanging pillowcase
Dream on a hanging pillowcase
Sara Pace
Sara Pace

What has the MFA in Digital Arts taught you, and how has it shifted your perspective? 

This Masters’ has been an opportunity to further differentiate my artistic knowledge and capabilities. Discussing media and work with other contemporary artists helps one engage with current debates in contemporary art history and theory. The Masters’ in Digital Fine Arts allows one to tackle one’s artistic concerns on an individual level, while also producing a combined dynamic of shared involvement and discussion with other artists. This process allows one to have the unique opportunity to engage with what it means to work as an artist today both in the local community and abroad, considering how an artist’s work and ideas are understood in and across different social, artistic and intellectual contexts. Experimentation is key within such a Masters’, where several forms of knowledge are discussed, incorporating the scientific, technological and artistic schema to create a complete education. 

Are there particular aspects of the contemporary art field that inspire you to create, or that you would like to react to in any way?

Contemporary art is a rich resource which mirrors contemporary culture; which is constantly changing and reforming itself, thus it is of itself a well of inspiration through which to consider current ideas that allow you to rethink the familiar. The work of contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Rose English and others encountered through exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale 2015 are of direct inspiration within my work. Contemporary Art is a vibrant combination of materials, experimentations in methodology, concepts, and selected themes that challenge traditional boundaries and resist any easy designation. It is diverse and eclectic, thus distinguished by the very lack of an organising principle from any other art historical period. Contemporary artists give voice to the varied and changing cultural landscape of identity, values, and beliefs in an internationally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world.

How are you tackling the concept of time in this particular exhibition, and what led you to choose this path in particular? 

My research seeks to investigate the influence of dreams on our daily lives, and their importance in a cultural context. The works being represented through this research investigate how the representation of dreams has evolved through the ages, alighting onto the fact that dreams are a personal space.

I have here created a dreamscape where the dream is not a given representation, but through the use of a site specific installation the space becomes the dream itself, to be interpreted by the viewers in their own manner. Of particular interest to me is the fact that no matter in what way dreams are explained they are never imagined in the same way by the listener as by the dreamer. Time may be stalled or augmented within dreams, the passage of it is not clearly felt, and so the space within the exhibition aims to become a niche outside of time – an alter-dimension. The use of overlapped text and the participation of the viewer are of essence to the work being displayed, since the viewer becomes part of the text, thus part of the dream space.

This research and the resulting research project challenge the idea of fabrication by the dreaming mind, in order to make the viewer reconsider that which is truly ‘experienced’, ‘in reality’ and ‘in dreams’, which is most important, most affecting?

Will you leave your dream?

What do you make of the local arts scene? What would you change about it?

The local arts scene is growing. There are several new artists who are striving to infuse Maltese art new creative ideals. There are still many areas where one needs to improve, such as a need for a space to permanently exhibit contemporary art in, to recognize contemporary artists and to encourage free discussion which may bring about further change. We do need the support of the government, schools and curators to reach this cultural change towards the arts. Where working in tandem would mean that the local scene could grow further. It is of no use to anyone of us to work separately. We have the responsibility to reflect our times and we are the ones who will in turn pass on our knowledge to the younger generation.

I believe that we need to give more prominence to exhibitions, bringing in noted artworks from the past and from the present both from abroad and locally, as only this will encourage visitors to galleries and museum spaces. The way to draw people in is to make these spaces more available, more popular and advertised. Exhibitions need to reach out to the needs of the viewers and become reflective of the age we are presently living in, thus becoming more interactive may be one of the key possibilities for future expositions. 

What’s next for you?

In the near future I shall be working in conjunction with other local artists through collaborative workshops within the education and health sector, as well as other projects.