“The Substance of Dreams” – a diptych painting created for the entrance hall at Narayana Press by Vibeke Tøjner

Vibeke Tøjner’s speech to Narayana Press in connection with the inauguration on 27th October 2017

Dear all at Narayana Press,

Thank you very much for giving me the task of making a ‘decoration’ for your beautiful place.

When I was sitting in the room – in February – and quietly contemplated the whitewashed wall for some hours, I dreamt about heaven and earth, about silence and memory, about the Himalayan mountains, about the landscape that arises from the flat Gyllingnæs and meets stuff dreams are made of between foreground and background. About the accumulation of life that has been lived and that is kept back by some textile – a veil – or the stuff of dream, as the veil that encloses reality and changes reality; the space of the dream as an overexposed memory – hence the light colors. The lens of the eye adjusts when one looks at the paintings for some time, the forms emerge and the whiteness, when the light falls on them, or when darkness prevails.

A painting where I have tried to scan the room for a “silent intensity” – on the spot – where movement is opposite exponentially in relation to the colors: the heavier the background, the more accumulation, the more I seek to lighten the colors of the painting and at the same time retain the movement of the composition. As a sort of after-movement. The background of the painting was a first draft being a kind of canvas skin drying up, so it in the way of a palimpsest leaves the traces of the first violent brushstrokes. On this background lowers or raises a veil which takes form and becomes a kind of picture upon another picture – as dream and reality merge together – in an abundance of lines, a density as in my “arch motif”: the thicket/ the grid. This abundance of lines is inspired by the many lines of the pastel in an impressionistic expression and the dryness of the fresco.

I have tried to create a painting on the wall that goes inward, as the intense silence, spirituality and dedication to substance, in its concrete and abstract meaning, the colors in all their most overplayed or underplayed nuances, which I experience at this place. Monumentality and details should go together, as we are close to the paintings in this room. Close up and far away. And both the motifs should meet in the diptych painting. As a wave in textile that opens up and encloses the first formation in the background. A composition of whiteness, where the “curtain” is loose, broken, more open and transparent as a see-through veil.

Notes written in the atelier on 6th October, 2017.

The Substance of Dreams, 2017. Oil on canvas, 2 paintings, each 231 x 192 cm.

Below pictures from the working process