angela bacon-kidwell – traveling dream

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Angela Bacon-Kidwell

Traveling Dream

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My photography comes from a life long obsession of exploring how my subconscious generates my dreams. As I move through my day, I am keenly aware of my encounters with people, places and things. I mentally record the details of these situations, and the physical or emotional responses that they evoke. These fleeting associations replay themselves in my dreams. The random moments combine to form sleep stories that are rich narratives, ripe with symbolism. With that as my model, I construct sets, use props and invite myself and models to perform in a natural, intuitive way. In essence, I attempt to create a waking dream.

For me, it is about being in the moment of a planned vision. That is were I’m most connected to my creativity.

In the series, “Traveling Dream”, I’m not illustrating a specific story, but creating unresolved moments from which the viewer must imagine a beginning and end. In this way, my images can become personal, each viewer lost in their own dream story within mine.

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Angela Bacon-Kidwell

96 Responses to “angela bacon-kidwell – traveling dream”

  • Oh my. How I wish Angela had chosen to submit her “Traveling Dream” essay from which this image came. I already found this selected photo intriguing but when I saw it within the context of the whole, I was mesmerized. This artist’s vision transcends the medium in which she works. Hers is a voice of mystery and “innerness.” Carl Jung would adore her work! As do I…


  • Angela rocks. Simply as that. :) Her work is incredible and very inspirational. She definitely deserves wider recognition… I am very happy to see her here.

  • I’ve just looked at Angela’s other galleries on her website and came away thinking, “Sally Mann meets Joseph Campbell.” But Angela does everthing in her own way. A true original.

    I sure hope Burn’s photojournalists will be open to seeing the world through eyes that look INTO and BEYOND rather than AT what is before them.



    yes, yes, i agree…i wrote Angela a letter asking her to PLEASE submit the whole essay…if she responds, and if she so wishes, i will surely publish all of it….

    some submit essays , where they should have submitted a single…others, as Angela, submit a single when they should have (IMO) submitted the whole series…Angela may have her own reasons for not doing so. I would respect the photographer’s wishes above all else….she may simply want to drive us all to her website which is fair enough…

    as i have written before, it must be incumbent on the photographer to submit their best “self”…if i am familiar with the photographer in advance i can surely lean on them to do one or the other…it is time consuming enough to go through all of the submissions every day and i just do not have time to go through every website and piece together what the photographer SHOULD have done…i also cannot just pull from a photographer’s website either morally or technically….and tracking down photographers by e-mail is, well, another full time job!!!

    i will write a post suggesting that photographers in doubt should submit both an essay and maybe one or two photographs from that essay as singles…this would save so so much time and allow the photographer to be presented in the best way possible…

    Angela, if you read this before you read my e-mail, please please consider letting us publish your whole “Traveling Dream” series…simply remarkable…many thanks…

    cheers, david


    It was great to look at your website indeed. You have created your own very intriguing world and there are many great photographs in this series… The one chosen by David is a very special one!


  • Rarely do I stupidly rejoice because of the perfect combination of image and word. This is one of those moments. Thanks!

  • ERIC…

    Angela submitted the one above…i did not choose…had i been the “chooser” , i would have chosen the entire essay Traveling Dream…..see my comment above…

    i do look forward to editing with you this afternoon….

    cheers, david

  • Some time ago I stepped by chance in Angela’s work (I saw the image of the boy behind the curtain and the mountain goat(?) -from Travelling Dream- as the cover of an online magazine) and really enjoyed it, also because it reminds me of one of my favourite authors: Arthur Tress.

  • Trust me, David, I was not implying that YOU should have somehow managed to get Angela to submit her essay instead of a selected essay. Having been the beneficiary of so much of your precious time and attention, I am well aware of how stretched you are in ALL directions, especially since Burn came onto the scene. But I am glad that you’ve now contacted Angela and encouraged her to allow you to publish Traveling Dream here on Burn. I hope she says yes. As you say, it is truly remarkable.


  • (message to kathleen F.: remember to start with the website ;-), others can start where they want)

    Vistuoso work served by a rich open-ended imagination. I am much more involved by the less “oniric” work on your website, but both have me looking with my hat off!

    PS: David, how about telling us how some of the artists came to propose their work? I mean: Do I understand that some of the members/editors are scouting the photographic world to bring people to submit, or is everyone submitting because they simply know of BURN, without being contacted?

  • HERVE…

    so far, the work published on BURN just comes to me through the submissions platform..from the readership here….just as you submitted..nobody is out there scouting, although as soon as the EPF is finished then i will set up formally an editorial advisory collaborative group to do just that…actually the EPF alone has brought in enough new work to publish fine essays on BURN for the next year….yes Herve, you have been a part of creating a monster….you are one of the ORIGINALS…now, go take another picture that is an equal to or better than your delightful bride photograph…i am waiting…

    cheers, david

  • Angela’s work is amazing. Truly artistic and super-creative…painting disconnected images that make up a dreamscape. I love this and wish she had submitted the whole essay because it is simply beautiful. Very original.

  • Angela, I love the photograph and can really relate to your text: my own dreams are hyper-real although not-always comfortable!

    I have deliberately not looked at your website yet although; if DAH asks you, specifically, to submit an essay; DO IT (laughing).

    Best wishes, can’t wait to view your website,


  • Thank you for publishing “escaping history” I really appreciate the comments and support and look forward to establishing a dialoque with many of you.
    I would love to send the whole series-David.
    I’m off to find the photo of the “delightful bride” by Herve :)

    All the best,


  • O.k. got you Angela: 5 saw your work in a recent issue of the British Journal of Photography. I love traveling dream; reminds me of Trent Park – except – how much is “straight” and how much is “Photoshop”. No problem either way: I seem to be on a similar journey but I’m looking for the “other” in the “real”.

    Besides, I know little about Photoshop (I only learn the computer technique that I require; no more. If I need more I ask my Son).

    Come to think of it; how much of Trent Park’s ” Minutes to Midnight” is “straight”?

    Best to all,


  • ALL….

    Angela and i are now communicating by e-mail and we should have the whole series up soonest….we just have to wait for Anton to wake up…he is in Japan….i can publish the singles easily, but am ill equipped to technically do the essays..i can edit and sequence of course, but entering them in the “system” is now beyond my capability…when i asked Anton once if he could just teach me, he just smiled…hmmmmmm…..

    cheers, david

  • DAH, my Son, Mark, is your Anton. I made a good living in I.T. but I only gave it enough attention to get by. My head is (was) always full of photography! Mark recently sent me instructions by e-mail to help a friend saying “Open I.E. and ….” I replied “What’s I.E.”? He replied “W.T.F.! .. Internet Explorer”!

    I replied “What’s that? I use a Mac”.

    Cheeky sod!



  • I’m just a passive follower of this site, and a few others, and was so delighted to see Angela’s work here. I came across her work about a year ago, and fell immediately in love with her vision, style, and message. Kudos to you, David, for showcasing an artist of her genre.

  • What a haunting photograph, dreamy yet uncomfortable. I’m looking forward to checking out the website and seeing the whole essay.

  • Thanks, David, for making the special effort to encourage Angela to post her entire Traveling Dream essay here on Burn. And thank you, dear Angela, for saying yes. Also a big thank you to our web wizard Anton who will soon awaken in Japan to the news that we have yet another job for him to do!

    Burn is really SIZZLING today!!!


  • Woa, just checked out Angela’s essay and it looks like those images were somehow directly extracted from her dreams.

  • how much is “straight” and how much is “Photoshop”.
    Well, to answer Mike R question:
    I’m by no means a purist when it comes to photography. I have a long background in painting and I think I still apporach my images in a layer manner. Much of the work in this series is “straight” shots however I do always need to have my hand or mouse to complete the final image. It is my way to feel completely connected with the process.

    Thank you for all the great support and I’m more than willing to answer specific questions.

  • angela… all…

    your single is now an essay… presto :-)


  • Watched the essay without reading the blurb. Absolutely wonderful work. All questions, all open. Superbly executed. Really nice to come across work like this out of the blue.
    Angela. You do very nice work……..I will maybe read the words later….maybe :)

  • How wondrous to see this amazing essay full screen! I saw many things I’d missed when seeing it on Angela’s web site. I will be returning again and again to enter and travel through Angela’s dream world. Such a gift…


  • Herve



    Thanks for sharing the more complete essay from Angela. Very much worth seeing the complete body of work. I admire your agility… You were greatly missed this morning when I connected with David. Sent you a message.



  • Great! Well worth waiting for the essay! I thoroughly enjoyed this work. Would love to experience it with music too… would really take you away! Great stuff!

  • Wow. This is the coolest, most interesting stuff I’ve seen in a long time. Wow. I’m at a loss to respond.

  • Usually I’m not a fan of this type of photo but I found it dream like and enjoyed the images very much. Try watching the slide show while listening to “Stars” by Bian Eno (Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks).

  • hello Angela,

    I like so much your series, it is absolutely magnificent, and so poetic… I would like to have some of your photos at home…

    all the best, audrey

  • we are carried upon the dry-stretch of our traveled lives by the race and meander of our fulsome dreams. Pliant, agile and quick to snap, they are the moments upon which our waking life seems at best to be a palimpsest. I will always, whether seen or constructed by the photographer, stand beside the work that balances the oneiric with the breath-lived, that carves from our seeing around, the seeing of within. For me too, this essay is best understood within the kingdom of parenthood: joy and fear and sadness and that strange alchemy of life and loss that defines the wonder of raising, watching and setting free, loss, a child. Rather than a child’s world, this is the difficulty hard-won world of a parent and all that titled imagery and magic, all the shadow and honed light that of the arrangement of coming to grips with the flight and plight of seeing one’s child step and teeter into the damp fecund world around….a mothers dream.

    for me, too, the issue of PhotoShop is an irrelevancy. Almost every one of these photographs is a construction, a composite of a number of images, moments, digital pictures, an arrangement that somehow speaks with honesty and versimilitude. Besides, our eyes, the way we see the world is through construction: what is before us and what is behind us (our memories) and all is defined by that. That it works is a testament to her skill as both an observer and a conjurer. and in the pics, all kinds of photographic (late giacomelli, the parkinsons, fukasake, etc) and literary and pop allusions that tie us with this personal vision….congratulations….

    and something I wrote for my wife, after she’d had a crazy dream of our son…..later, part of a poem about the act of photography….

    14. Late in the crux of unveiling morning my wife bends forward and speaks ecumenically then pauses as if a twitched by a gnat of light birched into a corner. Hesitation followed by inhalation and then comes this:

    I dreamed that I took a child into my arms and pulled his cowlick mouth against my breast, bowed my arms around his clavicle, whispered to him as if milkweed settled upon the spine-stem of a root. He was protected and i rose aloft. I rose, child to my breast, air beneath my collar and cage and arms, my arms bent and flapping like wings until i was aloft and adrift like a bird, he still clinging to my nipple. I, after a moment of surprise and serendipity, alighted upon the thatched roof. I sat stilled upon the gutter and bone of the spout of the roof like an owl, the root of my calm clutching the pull of his mouth against by draining body and I curled out my song while he suckled upon me. I was a bird sitting upon the perch of the world, child at my side draining me of all that I am in order to nourish all that I dreamt to be. I was a bird. This child was a god whose thirst needed all the tributaries of my once-clung to body. He was a still a child, a human child and as he clipped the skin of my tit, he bruised the fruit of my hope, swallowed all that I dreamt i would be in order to be that which I meant him to be by leaping into flight. Then, after an interminable moment, we leap, leap together, gathering gravity and wind, rotter and arc. In that moment of discarding, I recalled how he perched against the awning of my body, lapping up, as if a hum, as if a song, the nutrients of my life. We alight not as if birds but as bone and feather and dream. We flew, then, not from skeleton and earth-pulling but from alchemy. Squawk. By the dream’s end, he had fallen from beneath my breast and my wings squandered the air in descent. There it was. There, the falling. The ascent from the plummet. How could I have not known before. How then, in the falling, I could have forgotten that once we were, gene-to-gene, a-perch?

    All that. All that. Past your window, do you hear that, the leap and the anguish and the falling.

    15. To live as if the only voice in your body was the spin and hum of the world.

    bob black

  • Now that is very very cool.


  • Angela.
    a machine, your camera, recorded your incredible creative mind. drifting freedom. but you stop and build so it can fly and be. it’s just fascinating and that’s what i love about it. it’s interesting to see an
    xray of your mind. your machinery. love looking at it.

  • Angela,

    I enjoyed every single frame and as it moved along, I eagerly anticipated the next image. I was never disappointed. You are truly a talented and remarkable artist. This is one essay that I will look at over and over again. I’m happy that you did not include music. It left me to create my own while viewing. Janet

  • Mr. Bob Black I’m going to need to digest your comment and ponder your dream. Thank you for such a indept repsonse. I will get back to you soon.
    Sean Wood I will give that title a try, thanks.
    Thank you everyone for looking at my series and taking the time to leave a comment. I truly appreciate the jesture.

  • Angela,

    This essay is just beautiful. Sensitive, ethereal, moving. Dreamland indeed.



    thank you for your comment….i took a quick look at your site and do hope that in the future you will kindly submit some work for us….many of your family photographs are quite provocative…..since you live so close to Charlottesville, will we be seeing you at Look3??

    cheers, david

  • Creativity is alive and well in the 21st century. Thank you Angela for submitting. You have proven that imagination is such a powerful tool.

    Keep dreaming.


  • amazing work… so surreal… big news today…. americans can now travel into cuba…

  • Woman to woman, your work makes me want to sit down and ask you a stream of questions over a cup of tea..I am drawn by the way you work, being daytime aware and pulling from the sleep stories to weave together something that is part found and part generated. My sensibilities make me celebrate most your less ‘sweet’ images..visually I respond to the slight darkness of 8 and 13, for example.. It is the overall though that intrigues me..who you are, why you work this way, where you live, if you are mother to the child in the images and if so what that is like for your working, all that..I have these crazy crazy all night marathons of dreams, making my night time life richer than my waking, and always I am conscious of this gift..but you have used the gift to make something that can be shared. I always laugh at the idea that when recounting dreams, most people say “I had the strangest dream last night” but then recount them in the most mundane way, because there is a gap for most people between the experience and the bringing it back to the waking state..and you have found your way to thread the continuum..Edison used his hypnagogic state for working on his inventions; he made a chair with metal cups at the ends, and he would hold ball bearings..when he started to doze his hand would relax, he would drop the ball and he would wake, conscious of where his relaxed mind had led him..he did this over and over to allow him to reach into this rich area of creation, so that he could make something manifest for all of your way I see you doing the same..

  • Angela,

    Stunning work! Conceived in the minds eye and visually created with the camera. Beautiful conceptual work. Keep making your incredible photographs.


  • Absolutely amazing! thank you for sharing these with us!

  • Erica,
    That would be lovely! tea, coffee, wine :)
    I am the mother of the child in most of the images. After the birth of my son in 2005 I was compelled to start creating again and because I choose to stay home with him and expeirence the joy/hardships :) of that decision the work had to envole him. Over the last three years this series has developed organically and without (much) hardship. On most days we are in the process of exploring- each image has a dual meaning and is intended to be open ended.
    Being a woman artist for me is like learning to rest in motion, like lying down in a boat. At times life can be filled with diversions that distract my focus from the process of creating. When distractions or interruptions do present themselves I try to stay on course by acknowledging my faith in the essence of creation, play.
    Ultimately my work is a journey and surrender with known and unexplained emotions. I use contradictory symbols that are personal and multilayered, an image can simultaneously represent what I am questioning and what I have answered.
    I appreciate your thoughts, Erica!
    I also look forward to exploring everyones website and commenting on what moves me.
    Thank you for the support.

  • Thank you for that..where do you live (generally)? Looks beautiful..will try to keep the meditation going here of the stillness in motion :)

  • goodness… quite amazing! I would have preferred a slightly tighter edit, but then the essay might have been TOO mind-blowing! Hats off.

  • Dimitri,
    Thank you! Would you mind sharing you tighter edit for me. I have my thought but would love to hear others! Thanks

  • Angela, you’re very welcome! Give me some time for my suggestion as to what would have been my edit, I don’t want to hastily say something just to say it.

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