Catherine Heard


"Confessional" was inspired by a dream diary that I had kept for a number of years, and had decided to transcribe in 1996.  As I began re-reading the dreams I had had over a number of years, I discovered recurring imagery of the body in peril.  Rather than trying to recreate the dream images in a literal way, "Confessional" was may attempt to create a dreamlike space with symbols that were open to viewer's interpretation. The sculpture of the conjoined twins is sewn from the fabric of the wedding dress in the large photograph, and the sculpture of the infant (which manifests the characteristics of Trisomy–13) is sewn from the christening gown pictured on the top of the light box.  The viewer is cued to consider the theme of dreams by an audio element, which combines imagery from my own dreams with randomly selected phrases from a Victorian dream-interpretation handbook.

Text from the sound element of "Confessional"

To dream of dismemberment is a portent of joy.  To dream you see your bones protruding from your flesh precedes blessings. To dream of symmetry is a mark of kindness. To dream of brutality and cunning indicates a weakness of spirit. To dream of your teeth falling from your mouth predicts expectations eclipsed by failures. To dream of a wound signifies acceptance of fate. To dream you are helpless predicts a failure to comprehend true meaning. To dream that your skin has been richly embroidered portends emotional famine. To dream of your teeth worn to sharp points forebodes low desires. To dream of your own suffering signifies nothing. To dream of sharp objects arranged in rows predicts rash decisions. To dream you perform surgery upon yourself is a sign of coming joy. To dream of scarred hands portends a moral victory. To dream you have been mortally wounded warns of insane desires. To dream you are alone is not a warning but a promise. 

"Confessional" is in the Permanent Collection of the Kelowna Art: 

Materials: fabric hair photo sound metal

Additional Tags: trisomy 13 birth defect christening gown conjoined twin