‘Where Dreams Are Born’ is a piece inspired by ‘Peter Pan’, it’s a piece that I’ve wanted to do for years now. I thought I knew how it was going to look, I knew it was going to be a nursery scene and a London skyline but it’s lovely to see how it has evolved from immersing myself within the piece and putting myself in that room and keeping the image totally light, as much as the temptation to add some form of darkness to it, I’ve not, I’ve resisted, it’s completely light. There’s nothing in there and if can see anything dark in there then you’re certainly darker in mind than me!
It shows that point that’s linked to ‘Forever Young’, my 2017 piece where we see Peter depicted in this really vibrant silhouette rising up in front of ‘Big Ben’ but what you see is this beautiful nursery scene with Peter and the children flying upwards and past it but instead of being surrounded by the London skyline, when you look from left to right you see this heaven-like ‘Neverland’, which was a 2018 piece entitled ‘My Idea Of Heaven’. So, it shows this journey from reality to where you go in your dreams.
That’s what this whole piece is about, the power to dream and it’s so poignant now because of the restrictions that our children are living with, never mind us but for our children to not be able to do this, to not be able to do that. It just makes you worry what is in their head and more importantly what’s not. When you think back to being a kid and the roleplay and the freedom to really play without any restrictions, without any genuine danger, what came from that was beautiful and I guess that is the worry with the restrictions at the moment. Of course, they are going to lift but it’s still this bigger concern questioning whether kids have really forgotten how to play, have they forgotten how to dream?
What this picture does is show exactly what comes from dreaming and that doesn’t necessarily mean from when you are asleep, it’s your imagination, it’s using the power of thought to transform yourself to somewhere totally different which results in being somebody completely different. Whether that’s through confidence or something you want to do later on in life from being inspired by these dreams.
It’s a really beautiful, classic nursery setting with all of the toys laid out which shows the point before where they were playing and fuelling their imagination. The closer you look, there are some really lovely details that link to these earlier pieces like ‘Forever Young’ and that’s what I’m trying to do. If you can see on the wall there is a ‘Little Mermaid’ piece called ‘Hope’ and you can imagine Wendy looking at that image and being inspired to imagine and to dream. As you look closely you will see her mermaid rising up from the bed. The ‘Forever Young’ piece represents being free.
It’s just a really, really lovely image and I’ve loved working on it, I absolutely love how it has turned out, it’s just lovely to look at and I’m really proud of it. What is key is what’s central. You’ve got the dolls’ house and what that symbolizes is that happy family environment, that tight unit that fuels everything. It’s all about the family, it’s all about being able to be like a kid and to take you somewhere where you deserve to be.