Perceptual Isolation

by Kat Bawden

This series is inspired by my sleep disorder, sleep paralysis, which causes hallucinatory dreams that often replay a traumatic memory from my adolescence. This memory was repressed for almost 20 years, and I struggle to understand it. During these nightmares, I’m physically paralyzed and can’t move or wake myself up. Afterward, it’s hard to tell what was real and what wasn’t.
During times when my nightmares are more frequent and intense, I live in a fugue state suspended between dream and reality, between forgetting and remembering, hovering in a subliminal no-man’s-land of consciousness.
My intention with this series is to create an immersive visual world that mirrors my internal one, and pull the viewer in as a participant, in order to explore the mysterious depths of the mind and fragmentary processing of traumatic experience.