Su Blackwell: ‘While You Were Sleeping’


  • ‘I read in a book a Burmese legend about the soul butterfly or win-laik-pya…it is believed that a sleeping person’s soul takes the shape of a butterfly and flies abroad while it’s owner is asleep, searching for the souls of other persons and animals and returning when the owner awakes. Burmese children are still taught never to wake a sleeping person for fear they may die, or worse, live on, without a soul.’
  • I think the artist has portrayed her concept well through her piece: the paper cuts flying from the garment are butterflies flying out in exploration which represent the souls leaving the sleeping person. I believe the garment looks like an old night dress, which reflects the idea of the character being asleep. The title reinforces this by stating ‘while you were sleeping’, suggesting that this legend is really what happens when you sleep.
  • I think this piece links into my concept because it considers the representation of dreams exiting the body during sleep. It enhances the idea that dreams are fragmented. I feel inspired by this artist’s representation of a similar concept and believe I could explore similar ideas to fit more so with my concept regarding the relationship between daily life and dreams.