Dreamland

PENNY McELROY

January 18 - February 6, 2022
University Art Gallery

Opening Reception
Wednesday, January 26
4:30–6:30 p.m.

The Art Department of the University of Redlands is pleased to present Dreamland, an exhibition of recent artwork by Penny McElroy, art department faculty member and department Chair. Created during McElroy's sabbatical in 2019, Dreamland  features multi-layered Risograph and composite prints alongside a new foray into video narratives and video projections. Each image is a glimpse into that land of dreams, where one's mind moves from the rationality and worries of waking life toward peace and nonsense. When we enter, we are immediately elsewhere, and the rules of waking life are twisted into a new shape.

The show opens to the public on Tuesday, January 18 and runs through Sunday, February 6, 2002 at the University Art Gallery. Everyone is welcome to attend the opening reception on Wednesday, January 26 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Please note that face coverings and proof of vaccination are required.

Artist's Statement

It was a dark and stormy night...

Snoopy

...and the train to dreamland leaves the station – the price of a ticket is to trade one kind of consciousness for another. You settle into your favorite spot with your familiar routine – toothbrush, current favorite novel, go-to-sleep music. Your mind slowly moves from the rationality and worries of waking life toward peace and nonsense. At times, the worries rise up as monsters, storms, enormously difficult and boring passages that suddenly disappear into an alternate story. And at others, unexpected joys and poetic happenstance make the dream world a place you long to stay.

There is always a thread of illusory logic in a dream. Things that shouldn’t make sense do in dreamland. Ideas and feelings that were hidden in the light split apart and evolve into a story. If you wake up in the middle of it, you might laugh or cry at the beautiful sense of it all. It is a paradox – shadows that illuminate, light that conceals.

Shadow and light, inextricably linked – each necessary for the other to be. In dreamland, these are not opposite concepts, but rather more like the front and back covers of that favorite novel. When we enter it, we are immediately elsewhere, and the rules of waking life are twisted into a new shape, reminiscent of Alice’s adventures – (Wonderland is next door to Dreamland and down the street from Neverland).

Dreamland reconsiders certainty. Dreamland offers a parallel reality – enchantment embedded in the ordinary. Dreamland sustains hearts and opens mystery windows. Dreamland summons necessary magic.

 

Press

"Art Professor Finds Inspiration in Dreams," Bulldog Blog, University of Redlands, January 27, 2022

The University of Redlands is located halfway between Los Angeles and Palm Springs on Interstate 10. Exit at University Street when coming east from LA, or on Cypress when coming west from Palm Springs.
The University Art Gallery, located on Colton Avenue, is open from 1–5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 2–5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
For more information, contact Denise Benz via email (denise_benz@redlands.edu) or by calling 909-748-8360.