I am standing in a corridor, with my back to one wall, the wall opposite isn’t there. I am wearing a waterproof blue kagool, which I know I don’t own. My head is bowed, I have longer hair than now. There is a locked black security gate behind me, I know it is the entrance to my own flat, but in the dream it is like a portcullis of a medieval castle. I am distressed, what have I done? I have left my flat by choice, I know I haven’t been evicted, but I can’t go back and can’t change my mind. I am frightened. There are no people in the corridor but I hear two voices, both women. One says “you’ll have the flat for life, you’ll die there, if you want to.” The other is performing as a fortune teller, reading palms; when it is my turn she is agitated, saying “no, I don’t want to say.” I have feelings of dread. I am then sitting on a beach in just swimming trunks. My torso is nut brown, but my legs are pasty white. I have hair to my waist, and a beard and moustache. There is nobody else there. I swim out to sea, all is gentle but when I look round I can’t see the shore. As it is a cove I know that if I swim in one direction I will likely meet land, and so I choose a direction and do then get to land, but maybe a mile from my clothes, which are just blue jeans. When I find these I pick them up but don’t put them on, and then wander back to my tent.
I am flying over terrain, rivers and roads, and come down in Islamabad. I am outside a hospital and can see huge black crows in the dry grass of the hospital grounds. The hospital has smooth cement walls outside and inside. I am then in a hospital room, which is dark and cool. It has a metal framed bed but nothing else, no decor or equipment. I am watching a woman in the room. She has a long shawl covering her faceless body, like a ghoul. She goes into the bathroom. Just another smaller room, and without a window to see the crows lurking. It has very little light. There is an old squat toilet, a stool for bathing, and a bucket for a bath. Somehow, I know it is my mother’s aunt. She doesn’t make it back to the hospital bed, she dies in the bathroom. I know the water she poured on her body was killing her. I don’t see any fear or pain. Just an ending.
I am in my grandmother’s white bedroom. There is a small, fluffy, brown-furred dog, two months old, with long ears. His mother is there, and his five or six siblings, which are growing, but the small dog is the size of my hand and doesn’t grow. I choose this dog because it looks weak. I feel mutual emotional attachment between me and the dog. I am worried about his health and so I put it into a small black cosmetics bag and carry him with me all the time. I am then with other people in a large white, empty, bright gaming room, where we are fighting colourful cartoon-style zombies, which are clown-like and not scary. One of the zombies is purple, there are two zombies but I am expecting more to come out. The weapons in the room look like children’s toys, and sticks. With a toy gun one person shoots a powder at a zombie, which dissolves. I don’t take any weapons, I just want to make sure that the dog is OK. I open the bag and feel that the dog’s body is cold. I think he has died and I am sad. But after a few seconds his body becomes warm and he starts to move and I am relieved.
Sleep and Memory conference, Paris Institute for Advanced Study, 6-7th June 2019. Dream of organising two operations for my brother
I am in a hospital in a city in Switzerland. I have arranged for my brother to have two operations, at separate hospitals. He has travelled to the city so as to have both operations in one day. The first is on his mouth and throat. I am then waiting at the second hospital. I am in a room with the doctors. My brother phones me and says that he cannot make the second operation. I realise that a person can’t be intubated twice in one day. I am annoyed with myself for organising so much for him to do.
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."