The works under When You Escape are artist Jessica Stewart’s musings on dreams and those who wander lost in their imagined worlds. Dreams are vast, beautiful, consuming, unstable places built from secrets and fears, desires and damages. They are completely of our own individual constructions, but they are not safe. There is a danger but inevitability in becoming lost in their enthralling embrace. In an instant, a turn of light, a change of heart, a dream of radiance and warmth can suddenly turn terrible and harsh. Dreams, reflecting life, are endlessly layered and textured with immense detail so fine that it is almost unknowable. But layer upon layer upon layer builds up on top of itself until what is unseeable becomes felt. This is echoed in Stewart’s drawings, which have a fluid, just-out-of-reach or hidden quality to them. For an instant they look fragile and impermanent, like smoke. But slowly the full depth of the drawing’s textured and layered world begins to appear, as if the mist of slumber that veils them is lifted. Waiting there within is a world ready to be fallen into. But not everything is easily given up. Not all will ever be completely revealed. Like the dreams of someone’s slumber as they return to the reality of consciousness, the complete secrets and truths slip away even as one tries harder to grasp.
Jessica Stewart is a Melbourne based artist who works predominantly with pencil, pastels and spray paint to create her illustrations.