Fine art photographer Nicolas Bruno created a series of eerily beautiful images expressing various facets of his struggle with sleep paralysis.
“Bringing myself to act as the subject in these chaotic scenarios reflects the physical and mental struggles that take place within the dreams.”Having experienced the phenomenon – in which “the individual becomes conscious and is left immobile in a state between being awake and asleep” – throughout his life, Bruno sought therapy through his photographic practice, transforming his nightmares into artworks. He meticulously plans each of the photos in his series, starting with noting his feelings after awaking from a nightmare to allowing historical references to inform the props and costumes of the characters that appear his works.
Speaking of the process behind his practice, Bruno explains, “Bringing myself to act as the subject in these chaotic scenarios reflects the physical and mental struggles that take place within the dreams. The scenarios within the project allow me to become a multitude of different characters which all perform feats of bizarre nature. I find an immense importance in referencing areas within the history of art. Painting, sculpture, tailoring, and historical fashion are all directly consulted in the creation of my work.”
All images © Nicholas Bruno