What inhabitants live in the void between the waking world and sleep? In the limbo between these states exists the invented land of Hypnos—a realm where nature spirits, imaginary friends, muses and shadow-beasts roam free. Working primarily with clay, found objects, and soft sculpture Shamona Stokes gives shape to her ceramic caravan of idols and dream totems.

Her eccentric and child-like sculptures are inspired by the symbolism of the deep mind. Inspired by the writings of Jung and Joseph Campbell, the artist explores the archetypes of the psyche, the characters of Myth, and the symbolism of the collective unconscious. Using vehicles like meditation, floating (sensory deprivation tank immersion), and dream analysis, primal creative zones are entered to uncover the blueprints of each new piece. It’s in stillness and quiet that the deepest truths can be uncovered.  

Her sculptures are a merging of contrasts in texture and intent: the whimsical with the sacred, the ugly and the beautiful, soft versus hard. There’s an unseen thread that ties all of her pieces together, weaving together themes found in the wisdom of ancient civilizations, the beauty of the natural world and the illusory nature of reality. Stokes blends these elements together and what emerges are the re-imaginings of ancient things; be it a modern take on a fertility goddess or a Jim Henson-inspired dream shaman.  

The artist’s goal is to unearth the inner energy of each sculpture—to transform dirt into something magical.