Cosmic Stream

Book Review

Artist: Dora Lionstone
Photobook: Cosmic Stream
Publisher: Self-Published
Specs: Hardcover, 120 pages, 185 x 260 mm
Price: €85

How to dream with mind and matter?

This has been the prevailing question dominating the brainwork of German image maker Dora Lionstone since the world announced a global pandemic nearly two years ago. During lockdown, she found a lot of solace and insight through the act of daydreaming: being absorbed into powerful fantasies that are witnessed and experienced while awake, with our eyes wide open, yet only within reach to ourselves. These reveries offered Lionstone an ephemeral escape from mundane reality, and provided her with boundless imagination that continues to feed her creative practice. Her daydream-inspired multimedia project ‘Cosmic Stream’, for example, is an exploration of her inner space in relation to the mysteries and ambiguities of the universe that surrounds us all. The handmade book that she self-published in 2020 is one of the many ways in which she presented this celestial body of work.

The need to investigate what is within herself spiralled into the experimental and ethereal visual archive that eventually led to the formation of ‘Cosmic Stream’, which merges photographs, painted collages, drawings, looping animations and texts. Intertwining fact and fiction, science and culture, Lionstone invites us to wonder and wander what can be seen, grasped or fabricated, and how images can be changed into something you aspire to perceive. Combining all these various inventive techniques, materials and ideas, she unlocks the hidden and elusive matter that float between the layers of time and gravity.

With an open spine and various paper types, the is book readable from both sides and includes a foldout poster with the artist’s short essay “The First Breath Of The Earth”. Functioning as a vessel for the spherical body of work which journeys through colossal consciousness, the printed publication invites the viewer to enter and connect with the presented fluid realms of unidentifiable locations, landscapes and elementary forms through a visual and textual assemblage.

Inherently elusive in nature, each image across the 120 pages radiates with a strange sense of clarity, while simultaneously disorientates the viewer about the complex position and placement of humans at the centre of everything. Lionstone shifts and blends different points of view by staging self-made objects such as tiny clay sculptures and maquette using organic and artificial structures to confuse the sensation of scale, challenge our perception, and ultimately, to discover new possibilities for association and coexistence. Once put and seen together, the images evolve and reconfigure into illuminating galaxies and solar-systems. 

Driven by visual research into her muse, science-fiction, ‘Cosmic Stream’ is ultimately about following streams of consciousness in order to see what we might find beyond ourselves. For Lionstone, the medium of photography allows the impossible: to suspend a moment in time and to prevent it from a loss of gravity, through the creation of an image. 


We cannot wait to see where her extraterrestrial artistry will take her next.

Dora Lionstone

is a German visual artist and photographer based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, who is driven by a fascination for ambiguities. With her work, she creates alternate realities as an invitation to dream and wonder. Her work has been exhibited at FOAM and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, among several other exhibitions across Europe, and she has been selected as GUP New Talent 2021 and FRESH EYES European Talent 2021. She graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Photography.


Cosmic Stream is available in a signed and numbered edition of 12 here.

Interviewer: Laura Chen

Contributor of Discarded Magazine
She is a photographer and writer dealing with topics of identity, memory, tactility and the overlooked.