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Xiola Johnson

BA Fine Art

The main aim of my work is to induce the fear or discomfort we experience after a nightmare or dream. I aim to do this through the medium of digital photography. The work focuses on recreating and reliving my childhood dreams in the hope of creating imagery that is relatable and can almost feel like a shared dream, in a way that may cause the viewer to feel major discomfort and make them feel unsettled.

Nightmares are different for every person. They are as unique as one’s fingerprint, yet the feeling created is universal to all: fear. When you wake from a nightmare, you are gasping for air, your heart is pounding out of your chest, you are sweating and shaking all over. Put simply, you are in a physical state of fear and what you are experiencing is a heightened state of physical arousal (evidenced through the palpitations, the clamminess, and the shaking), better known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.


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