stop.stay.dream. was an illustrative installation created for the Bunting Center's Pinkard Gallery at the Maryland Institute College of Art during the last few months of 2012. The installation showcased a giant animatronic beast who slumbered in the corner of a make-shift forest. A young girl slept nuzzled in the beast's palm, her face softly lit from a glowing firefly. Around the room, other fireflies twinkled in the space, and a watchful owl struggled not to doze off.  Warm smells greeted visitors, and crickets could be heard singing throughout the building, drawing inquisitive people in. Leaves and tree-trunks littered the floorspace, encouraging visitors to amble and experience at their own pace.

Stop.Stay.Dream. was my attempt at bringing a glimmer of wonder back into the world of the everyday. Childhood wonder is leaving us behind. People have less and less time for the magic that surrounded us as children. We see and feel less of it as we slowly fit ourselves into a world that is regimented and controlled. But it's still there, if you know where to look. The soft voice of the wind through the leaves of the trees. The glimmer of fireflies on a warm summer night. Yes, that wonder is still all around us, even if most of us don't have the time to look for it.

A few quick glances at the movements of the room. The audio of this video is what could be heard if walking through the forest.

After I finished planting this forest in the little nook that is Pinkard Gallery, I made sure to leave out a guestbook and a pen, hoping that the random weary traveler might write a few words if they felt like venturing into this strange world. I was shocked at the responses I recieved, with a few people even scribbling down their thoughts on the back cover of the book. These people really touched my heart with their words, and I'd like to share what they had to say in it's entirety. 

These are the thoughts, feelings, and words of the people from their own hand.