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Beautiful Nightmares

image by Veronica V. Jones

Lydia Burris

A lanky man with long black hair and white face makeup. A woman in a blouse and vest calmly wrestles with nightmare creatures. A hairless man with a spiny head and long fingers stands contemplatively.

Have you ever woken a fitful sleep, uncertain if you had just escaped a nightmare’s icy grip, or had been rudely snatched from a beautiful dream? Lydia Burris‘s ghostly portraits and shifting imagery may leave you similarly conflicted.

Her heavily textured, yet gracefully flowing forms seem composed entirely of delusion and fantasy, trapped on canvas by the weight of her brush or perhaps the strength of her will alone. Through Ms. Burris’ works, we catch noisy, fractured glimpses of alien landscapes with oddly familiar features, and mundane environs made bizarre by unwanted, uncomfortable insights.

The most challenging and rewarding of Lydia’s works remind us of the bestial, nightmarish qualities within our own psyches that threaten to ravage our most cherished dreams. If she knows the ultimate outcome of this eternal struggle, she is keeping it to herself.

Written by in August of 2009. Last edited September 2014.

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