Dreamy poems set the mood for Emily Katz's show last Saturday night at the Breeze Block Gallery. Models in neutral-colored tops and dresses ambled down the center aisle framed with flower petals. At the end of the walkway, they lingered in front of a sheer piece of cloth embroidered with fluid lines.Katz, a 29-year-old Portland artist, unveiled her artworks and fashion show collection "In the Flower Months" before a few dozen people. The music was so soft and ambient, even the tiniest scuff of a platform-heeled shoe could be heard from the other end of the room.The collection was based off the dreams of Katz and her longtime friend, Jeevan Singh. After a patron of the Breeze Block Gallery approached Katz for a possible art show, the two friends shared recent dreams they had in their sleep. Suddenly, a theme came to mind."It was just like a bolt of lightning," Katz said. "Yes. Dreams."Singh, 29, and Katz began recording their dreams. Singh dictated them into her iPhone or drew sketches. Eventually, Singh compiled her notes into more structured poems that explore the line between being awake and being asleep. Singh said her ultimate personal dream, is simply to create art true to herself and "to accept that everything is continually changing, and there's beauty in that."Katz rearranged her bedroom to include a sewing machine and hung her artwork on the wall. Another longtime friend, Emily Townsend, often stayed up until 3 a.m. helping Katz sew gems onto the clothing."So I was always seeing the artwork, when I woke up and went to sleep," Katz said.Katz, who is mostly self-taught, had taken a two-year break from making clothing. The rigor of fittings, keeping quality control and managing production wore out her creativity, she said.For this collection, she decided to do it for fun and for the sake of art. For example, she cut bok choy vegetables and hand-printed them onto fabrics. She also hoped that her work would convey a sense of the American Dream and the journey of pursuing a creative goal.Singh and Katz are now working on self-publishing a limited edition of a book of poems and artwork."It was like a fun experiment, and I really, really loved doing that," Katz said. "So for me it was being inspired, and excited. I'm making and creating, and I have this sort of child-like wonder about it. And that is… That's what I really love."
EYES & EDGE