Current works gallery

The Sleep Series

Sabine van Rensburg Dream and trust in yourself, Acrylic on Canvas, 960 x 960mm 2016

Sabine van Rensburg
Dream and trust in yourself, a commissioned work

The sleep series began on the 18th April, 2015.

As many good things, it started organically.. I earn some income as a deep tissue masseur for physical performers and one of my clients sent me a message saying that she’d “.. love to see what she looks like through the eyes of my paintbrush”. Asher Bowen-Saunders turned up after a day of working as a ‘living statue’ and as she was tired, I suggested that she just have a snooze, as I’ve always been fascinated with sleep. Whilst working on her painting, I began to muse upon the contrast between the energetic natures of these highly active performers and their sleeping forms and dreamlife. Childhood memories came to me of watching my mother sleeping, and what seemed to be a shadow floating over her closed eyes. I imagined this to be either her soul or dreams moving around her.

Acrylic on canvas 1500 x 1200mm

Rachael Gibson rolling in her sleep

The amount and nature of movement that physical performers go through in their sleep fascinates me, (the hypnagogic jerk, for example, is more prevalent in them than sedentary people), as does their highly diverse relationships to sleep and the part it plays in their own creative journeys. Nearly a year into the sleep series I started to think about the relationship between the dissolution of our conscious selves as we pass into the hyperreal world of REM sleep cycles, and the movement of dust in space, the potentials of dark matter and how stars are formed and destroyed in nebulae. Buddhist philosophy indicates that we are not of solid form, but are made up of minute energies or matter.

I feel that I am still at the very beginning of this series, akin to non-rem stage 2 sleep, where eye movement stops, brain waves alter, the heart rate slows and the body begins to prepare for the depth. Each new interaction and set of paintings open more questions to explore and more of an emotional understanding of the dream reality. I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with so many deeply creative souls, who are so willing to share their thoughts, feelings and time with me. Much love and many thanks to you all!

Here are some works in no particular order..