Some drawings take years to evolve. The foundation of what became 'Dream Into Life' (2019) was a quick stream of consciousness sketch dating back nearly 20 years, to 1998.
The sketch, which I titled, 'Riptide', was created with no idea or concept in mind, but seemed to conjure a kind of abstract, primordial scene, where vague influences and fluid forces shape and influence souls still in formation. At least that's how it seemed to me.
'Riptide' Sketch by Matthew Giffin (1998)
At that time I had been having sessions with a Jungian therapist, working on remembering and interpreting dreams. The sessions were empowering on a number of levels and may have subconsciously factored into this, and other sketches I was doing at the time. In any case, I was sufficiently intrigued with the image to know that at some point I would develop it further.
Flash forward to late 2018. I had just completed a large, very time consuming black and white drawing (Thought Gallery). It was the dead of winter in Toronto; I was in the mood for a little colour! And I had just completed a fascinating book called, 'Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe', by Robert Lanza, MD.
Video link: Robert Lanza, MD: 'Rethinking Our Insanely Improbable Universe'
Briefly, Biocentrism presents the view that the universe springs forth from consciousness, rather than the other way 'round. It establishes consciousness as the foundation of reality, in contrast to the standard view that consciousness somehow arose from the inert matter that makes up the material universe.
It is a modern theory, with roots in quantum physics, yet mirrored in ancient eastern (and western) philosophy. Indeed, artists and poets have posited similar ideas throughout history.
“The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself.”
In any event, after nearly 20 years, 'Riptide' became the perfect point of departure for a new artistic journey, a meditation on the nature of creativity that would, over the course of the next three months become, 'Dream Into Life'.