Taveras is an award-winning sculptor of what she calls "Dream Art." She has a special interest in the unconscious sources of creativity. She explores these sources in an intimately personal way, using images from her own dreams to create sculptures that illustrate the process of psychic transformation. These are archetypal images from what C.G. Jung calls the "collective unconscious."
Maria Taveras with her "Dream Art" paintings and sculptures at the 2007 conference of the International Association for Analytical Psychology in Cape Town, South Africa.
In the early 1990s Taveras had a series of dreams after visiting the C.G. Jung Institute of Zurich. When she returned to New York City, she had several "single image dreams." In one of those dreams, a voice from the unconscious told her to sculpt her dream images.
Her sculptures feature dream images of the emergent feminine. They also often include dream images of serpents, some of them with wings.
When Taveras sculpts her dream images, she experiences what she calls "interactive morphing," which is similar to what Jung calls "active imagination." This is a dialogue between the ego and the unconscious and between psyche and matter. It is a kinetic conversation that is mental, verbal, visual, tactile, and visceral. When she interacts with her dream images, they "morph," until they ultimately materialize as sculptures.
Taveras won a 2004 Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis for her sculpture "Transformation of the Feminine." She also won a 2010 Gradiva Award for her thesis "Transformation of the Feminine: The Woman, the Serpent, and the Voice."
Her sculptures have been exhibited at the 2005 International Association for the Study of Dreams conference in Berkeley, the 2006 International Association for Jungian Studies conference in London, the 2008 Art and Psyche conference in San Francisco, the 2009 Dreamwork art show at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in New York, and the 2010 International Association for Analytical Psychology conference in Montreal.
Taveras also paints her dream images. Her paintings have been exhibited with her sculptures at the 2007 International Association for Analytical Psychology conference in Cape Town.