All creation begins on the inside. We desperately try to make sense of the input of life, regardless where it comes from. Jumbled, mixed-up, juxtaposed, contracted, expanded, the experiences add up and make us containers of impressions and expressions. Most people handle this causally by just mechanically reacting in various ways: engulfing, avoiding, loving, receiving, fearing, discarding, on, off, start, stop, etc.
Some, however, go a step further. With a lot of courage, the chaotic input is addressed, looked at, even questioned. What does my dream mean? Where do my emotions come from? Why do the things I fear most so often reoccur?
Nadine Byrne’s film “Dream Family” is a part of her own budding mythology. The prominent and colourful figures (five females known as “the dream family”) have appeared before, in Nadine’s performances and in her earlier film work. Her music, her design and her sewing of their costumes are all active and deliberate attempts at communicating with her initial impressions and imprints – dreams, daydreams, ideas, visions, the magical moments when “things” appear.
To initiate a sacred communication with those hidden layers of one’s own psyche is to tread adventurously on new ground. By ritually and esthetically formulating a new and unique dream-family-language, complete with sound, vision and emotion, and then also displaying it all to us (involved, as we are, in our own confusing life- complexities), Nadine takes on the role of soul-searching magician, armed with her own creativity and trust.
We all have to address nature if we want to understand our own nature. We all have to address others if we want to understand ourselves. We all have to address darkness if we want to see our own light. From this intimately inner core, the Dream Family process moves on towards externalisation, constructing a dramatic tableaux vivant, a psychic mirror for the Self to see and learn from.
To try and understand what these priestesses-goddesses-maidens-witches-women are “doing” in the film is pointless. They are spiritual externalisations of a multifaceted mind that defies terms like “analytical”, “poetical”, or even “artistic”. Nadine’s main creation is not the fact that she has so wholeheartedly and single- handedly created all the parts of this cinematic poem herself. The most impressive feat is her courage to trust her own intuition and make – quite literally – dreams come true
Carl Abrahamsson February 2011