Nancy Richter Brzeski has come to "dream art" by a roundabout
route. Born in N.Y.C., raised in Pittsburgh, PA., she received her B.A at the
University of Michigan and her M. A. in sociology at the University of Chicago.
She was a research associate for several years at the Institute for Social
Research in Oslo, Norway, where she remained for three years as the wife of the
young political scientist, Christian Bay.
Her interest in dream-inspired art developed in northern California, where
she settled in the late '50s. In the Bay Area she worded with Fariba Bogzaran,
now on the teaching staff of JFK University. In Davis, she worked as a "consurrent
student" in the University of California, Davis Art Department with Tio
Giambruni, Wayne Thiebaud, Cornelia Schulz, Squeek Carnwath, Robert Arneson,
Tony Natsoulas and others.
This gallery is about the dream inspired art that has been unfolding since
Nancy invites you to stop by, view the art and e-mail your comments! Have you
had a similar dream? Have you done art work related to this? What associations
are evoked by my work? Why do you like it?
The Granny Gallery
"Dreams are telling us something. If we learn to understand our dreams,
it helps us to understand ourselves. "
Many artists use dreams and fantasies as inspiration for their work. I have
mainly used art as a *means* of delving more deeply into my dreams. My main
focus has been on the integrity of the dreams. In the process of externalizing
the images, many new insights have come to me. The more I worked, the more I
understood. Some of my sculpture-sketches and paintings did not develop in this
way, however. The sculptures have often come directly from the place from which
dreams come, the unconscious mind. The subjects of the paintings, including
"Icon (Granny)", have often been deliberately determined.
Process involved in the "Granny" Series
* Granny I * is a lithograph, made as an art student in 1966.
*Granny II * is a pen-sketch made in the same year, a doodle which turned
into Granny with the long black hair I had then, a composite image.
*Granny III * was an oil pastel made on newsprint in an art therapy group in
1986. I recently transformed it into*"Icon(Granny)"* because I felt it
came the closest to my memory of my grandmother, who died in 1951.
* Granny IV * is an acrylic painting made in 1995, when I rediscovered my
Hungarian roots. I was strongly influenced by the frontal image of the Fayum
portraits and the "eternal gaze" which Giacometti tried to grasp. I
wanted to capture, *to bring back to life*, my grandmother's spirit of
gentleness and compassion, the "nurturing mother."
Dream: Harvesting Granny's Garden
I was sitting outdoors in a little garden. Granny's Garden. Vegetables,
fruits, flowers. I was sitting at a little table, typing something which I had
written. A story? Many pages.
When I finished typing, I got the idea to weed the garden, which I did. It
was muddy. I think I was barefoot and didn't mind the mud.
There was a huge eggplant growing there. I thought, "Since I'm weeding
this garden, I might as well pick the eggplant and the other ripe
vegetables." It was *my* garden. I was about to do that when I woke up.
Nancy's work has appeared at four international meetings of the Association
for the Study of Dreams: In Arlington, VA, Santa Cruz, CA., London, England, and
Berkeley, CA. She has learned about dreamwork from Nancy Jungerman, Jeremy
Taylor, Gayle Delaney and Loma Flowers. Nancy Richter Brzeski lives in Davis, CA
and San Francisco. She is the wife of Dr. A. Brzeski, recently retired from the
Economics Department, UCD. They have two grown children, a daughter, Eva, who is
a filmmaker in New York City and a married son, Jan, who is an independent
businessman in Los Angeles, as well as their Polish daughter Agnieszka Silva who
lives with her family in Davis, California.