Painting made as part of BBC World Service programme on dreaming, broadcast April 2019. Presenter's dream of brother dying due to being hit by a car
'I am at my parents’ large, reddish, Victorian house, our family home, which is at the edge of a village. It is a Spring afternoon, with a blue sky. My second youngest brother, aged about 17, is walking up the narrow lane by the house. It is a twisting, turning lane, which cars often whizz along. The lane has green trees and fields on both sides, and steep, brown, earth banks, 12 – 15 foot high, like a gully, so there is nowhere to escape. I have a sense that he has been hit by a car. I leave the house, run down the side steps, and run down the lane to find him. I see him, dead, covered in blood, with limbs at odd, irregular angles. Blood is on the tarmac. I hug him.'
The BBC film of the painting being made can be seen here.
Dream of being pulled out of my sleeping body, meeting my late mother who takes me through a door to an adventure.
Very happy today to have completed and handed over, to the dreamer and family, the artwork capturing the Rowing Boat, Canal Boat and Large Boat dream, which was shared with us at the 2nd Swansea Science Festival. We are very grateful to the couple who shared and discussed it with us! It was a lovely dream.
Dream of a crocodile under the water and a snake
Dream of a haunted house
Dream of redecorating a dilapidated dowdy house (and, below, the mounted artwork and dream text)
At the beach, warning mother and sister of a dangerous sea-serpent
Elongated car dream
Partner says jump into sea, then together on canal boat
Dream of walking in long offices with red Morse code on walls
For the Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Sciences we held two events, this one was at the Glynn Vivian art gallery, Swansea. The dream was of a virtual reality research centre, the dreamer flew up in the VR above the research centre and above the shoreline and cliffs which were next to the centre. A male and a female researcher described the VR programme as aiming to cause elation and positive emotions.
As part of a three day celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein we held a DreamsID event at Taliesin Create, part of Swansea University, with invitations to discuss nightmares and dreams and have them painted.
Nightmare of teddy bear whose arms become tendrils that strangle the dreamer, dreamer runs out of house and sees silhouette of man inside the house.
We also had a very positive dream told to us: "Car, motorcycle and ballerina dream."
"I am in the back seat of a car, relaxed. Suddenly I am shocked to realise that no-one is driving and I have to take over steering by reaching over from the back. I can’t get to the pedals and I fear for myself and for others for what might happen, even though no-one else is around outside. But I don’t crash, I sense I manage the situation.
"I am next on a beautiful large black and chrome or gold motorcycle, like a Harley-Davidson or Triumph. I am wearing one-piece feminine black leathers, like cat woman. I am riding the bike fast, it is very large and I am astride it, leaning forward, no helmet. It feels fantastic, and not out of control. It is great, I feel a powerful woman.
"I am then outside, I am a ballerina, pirouetting, beautiful, in a classical and pale pink leotard, with pale pink tights and pink ballet shoes. I do a high floating twirl, very graceful, like a musical box ballerina. I am very pleased with myself."
Dream shared, discussed and painted in a session as part of the multidisciplinary Dream Science Symposium, October 2018, at University of California Los Angeles http://thedreamscience.ucla.edu
“It was night-time and I was in London. I had never been there before in my life. I was with my old high school friends, four, all girls my closest friends, plus me. The city was really bright, in contrast to dark sky. You know, cityscape at night-time is really beautiful, so there were bright lights, almost a little bit overwhelming, but the night sky was sort of very dark and blue. We were close to the Big Ben tower, which is a like a pretty famous tourist destination. We were like talking about coffee, mainly the taste of it, which I don’t like, I am not a huge fan of the bitter taste.
“All of a sudden, you know the feeling when you fall in a roller coaster, anti-gravity, you feel your body sort of lift up and you feel strange? I looked around me and everyone just started floating, feet slowly coming off ground. This was at a point in time where I felt sort of lucid, where you can sort of control your body in your dream, and the first thing you want to do when you feel lucid is you want to go fly around. I could control my movements. My friends could do the same. So everyone in the entire city, it was pretty crowded, started floating, slowly up, along with my friends. Some people were really scared and stopped, but I was thrilled with the fact that I could control everything now.
“We were flying and spinning around Big Ben, like in the movie Peter Pan, the famous scene where they are flying around. It was like a picturesque version of that, swirling and doing loops, it was with all my friends and I could look down, look down at the whole world and city, the contrast of bright lights with the dark night sky. My vision was blurred black and yellow with lots of noise. It was freezing cold, the wind was going really fast. I could feel how cold it was, but it was like an adrenaline rush. We kept going further out into the ocean, I could control everything, going to the side.
“I woke up but I didn’t want the dream to end, I liked the dream so much I tried to go back to sleep and continue it. Miraculously the dream continued and I was flying again, a long time, I flew a long while. My friends were no longer with me. I thought I have had my fun, so I flew straight down and dove into the ocean, it was completely black, and then I woke up.”
“I’m in a building that’s big, made with blocks of stone. It feels like it’s hundreds of years old, I’m not sure how many stories it is but it’s feels like it’s almost a square. It’s like a museum, kind of dark and in shadow. There are windows on the far wall. It’s just a really thick stone wall, kind of grey. It’s open in the interior, like the Guggenheim in New York, but with square corners instead of round. The landings are all on the outside and it’s open down the middle so you could potentially see all the way to the bottom. I can’t see to the bottom as it’s murky down there. I’m walking down the corridor along the outside edge of the top floor, heading toward the staircase, I’m going to turn right and start heading down. But on my left is this tapestry that I would have just walked by except that, as I’m walking by it, it moves, or it’s folded or there’s some way that it gets my attention. From first glance it’s sort of nondescript, it’s faded, it doesn’t really stand out. But then it gets my attention, and I turn and look at it. The tapestry is quite big, maybe 15 feet high, bigger than me and 6-8 feet wide. It’s really, really old. Like one of those carpets that was bright red when it was made but has now faded to a pale orangey colour. And when I look at it, I don’t really see any detail, I can’t really tell what’s on it. But I think I see a tree, and in the dream I think, the tree of life. It might be like an oak tree, that kind of shape, it’s deciduous, fully leafed. And I get the sense there’s a river. And I also get a sense that it’s one of those tapestries where there’s a story or a myth being depicted. It was very detailed and densely woven. There’s so much in it, it feels like all of life is represented in it. The tapestry feels richly filled with people and animals and all kinds of symbols, it’s crowded with stuff.
“There is a small group of people starting in the same place I did. They want to see this tapestry so I have to move along because there isn’t enough space for us all. You can’t stand back and get a good perspective because the railing is there, and the dropoff. They are big wooden railings. They’re oak, carved, thick, old, somewhat ornate. The top has this wide curved, carved surface, and there are spindles underneath. At the corner of the stairs is a feature, a curved piece of wood to mark the corner. The corners of the building are square, but the railing is curved. They are beautiful even though I don’t like them. I have an adverse reaction to this railing. I don’t like oak.
“So I stand and look at the tapestry for a little while, and then I have to move reluctantly out of the way to let these people see it. I realize I have to share. I go further down. When I moved away from it and looked at it from a different angle, there was a whole different scene – like those scarves from India that are different colors depending on the angle of light, but the tapestry was much more complex than that, a thousand times more intricate. It felt like if you shifted your angle even just a little bit, it shifted the picture. It felt like it could change anyway, with time as well. It felt very magical.”