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Katerina Husar Lazarova

CONTEMPORARY ARTIST

Hypnagogia: Between Wakefulness and Dreams

Art has the remarkable ability to transport us to otherworldly realms, evoking emotions, memories, and sensations that defy the boundaries of our waking reality. One such captivating piece that invites us to explore the liminal space between consciousness and sleep is the painting titled Hypnagogia.

At the heart of Hypnagogia lies a central figure—a face that seems to emerge from the depths of the canvas. Its features are both familiar and enigmatic, and closed eyes hold secrets. The hand supports the heavy head that dives into the secrets of dreams over which consciousness has little control. Flowing forms like veils of past events are submerged from the waves of thoughts. These shapes defy definition – part organic, part ethereal. They seamlessly merge and blur the boundaries between reality and imagination.

Two other faces emerge from the floating curves as a reminder of the collective memories imprinted deep into the foundations of our experiences. The upper hand-like form extends outward as if reaching for something just beyond our grasp. Is it beckoning us deeper into the dream? Or are they pulling us back into consciousness? The ambiguity invites contemplation—what lies beyond the veil of perception?

The permeated spill of colors in the background dances and creates a sense of movement, as if the canvas itself is breathing. Is it an embodiment of the artist's subconscious? Or perhaps a representation of the viewer's own inner musings? 

The palette of the painting is dominated by muted blues, reminiscent of twilight skies or the hazy transition from wakefulness to slumber. Colors, along with hints of gold and red-orange, punctuate the composition like fleeting glimpses of distant stars and evoke a range of emotions—calmness, curiosity, and a touch of melancholy. They encourage contemplation of what lies behind the veil of perception, drawing the viewer deeper into the painting's world.

The title, Hypnagogia, alludes to the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep. It's the realm where dreams take shape, where the mind weaves narratives from fragments of memory and imagination. As one gazes upon the painting, one becomes a voyager in this hypnagogic

space, invited to explore the depths of our own subconscious.

The state of hypnagogia has long intrigued artists, writers, and thinkers as fertile ground for creativity. The ancient Greeks and Romans often sought inspiration from dreams, while surrealists like Salvador Dalí actively explored hypnagogia to access the subconscious. His technique, known as the "slumber with a key," would allow him to fall asleep holding a key and be jolted awake when it fell, capturing the fleeting hypnagogic images in his mind. This state, characterized by vivid sensory experiences and dreamlike visuals, allows for a unique interplay between conscious intention and subconscious spontaneity.

Hypnagogia invites us to surrender to the unknown and embrace the fluidity of existence. Standing before the canvas, anyone can become a traveler in a twilight realm where reality and reverie intertwine. Perhaps, in this suspended moment, we glimpse the essence of creativity, the birthplace of art, where imagination takes flight.

So, let's linger a little longer, allowing the blending of colors and floating lines to weave their magic. In Hypnagogia, one can find not just a painting but a portal—a gateway to the infinite possibilities of the mind. Through exploring the hypnagogic state, we can all become voyagers in the dreamlike realm of art, discovering new landscapes of creativity and imagination.

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