Dream of walking along paths on a snowy marsh and into the sea. Told at online event for members of the International Society for the Study of Surrealism, 18th February 2022.
I walk out of woods and onto a bay with a snow-covered marsh that leads to the sea. The sea has stones under it. Along the paths there are some footsteps but no-one is around. My wife is present but unseen. The snow is knee high, I am wearing shorts or swimming trunks, as if it was the Summer. I then see clothing and underclothes strewn on the ground, there are frilly brassieres and Ugg boots, as if some young people had discarded them to go into the water. I am fleetingly bemused by this, thinking that they must be cold in this weather. But I also wonder that when I go into the water maybe it will not be as cold as the marshy surroundings. As I step into the water I wake up. However, at this point or earlier, I was on my way to a ferry and my wife and I had to stay overnight in a hotel so as to catch the ferry the next day. I was hoping that we had reserved a room, but my wife and I agreed that we could always sleep in the hotel or ferry lounge if not.
In the discussion the dream-sharer said that the dream was related to ageing, and also nostalgia as he had known ferry areas next to the sea like this when younger.
Julia composed the painting using an area in italics at the right to depict part of the sea. This paragraph, where the dreamer and his wife are represented in the sea, begins:
Here is a man’s dream
To make the footprints Julia combined pairs of words across the bottom of the composition.
And in the same section:
An allusion to a woman
On the snowy marsh the two-word footprint combinations say:
A bra drawn in the corner of a paragraph has the word ‘latent’ in the strap and next to it the footprint reads ‘dream content’ and the other strap reads ‘time’ with the footprint ‘to her’ next to it. Similarly, one of the Ugg boots, which has made some of the footprints, is also made of two-word combinations and has on its sole:
In a pink pair of lacy pants on the beach are the words:
And on the vague figure of the dreamer’s wife, to the right of the man, are the words:
She is the wife of
The man who is dreaming.
Above the two figures, near the horizon of the sea, is the word ‘fifteen’, the age of the dreamer’s child, briefly mentioned in the discussion. It is compositionally linked to the ferry boat on the horizon at the top of the right page, which is made up of two lines:
with a warning
These were highlighted because in the discussion the dreamer couldn’t remember if he and his wife had booked a room at the hotel and thought they might have to sleep in the hotel or ferry lounge.
Dream of choosing between two sets of keys, one set familiar, one set unfamiliar, and meeting myself as a child. Told at online event organised by Scottish Opera, 9th February 2022, during rehearsals for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
I am in a house with dark wood panelling and a wooden floor. There is a window that looks onto brightness outside. I know that the house is my home. I have two sets of keys, one in either hand. The set in my left-hand is familiar, the right-hand set is unfamiliar and has many more keys on it, some are small and some are large. I spend a minute trying to figure out which set of keys is for the big door I’m standing by, and I settle on the big unfamiliar ring of keys. I open the door, which leads onto space, with stars. At the door there’s a little kid facing me, and I know it’s me, but it has no features, it’s just a small mass of light. It takes my hand and I step through, step out, and then I wake up.
The dream-sharer, Lea Shaw, mezzo-soprano with Scottish Opera, had this dream when production and rehearsals were just starting for the opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which Lea performs the role of Hermia. In the discussion Lea spoke of the array of choices and possibilities that occur at the start of a production, and that this array might be depicted metaphorically in the dream by the set of unfamiliar keys; we realised later that metal lock keys might indeed be depicting the musical keys of the opera! The wooden floor in the dream could thus also be a reference to the operatic stage. Lea spoke of the interests she had as a child, including interest in outer space, how she first went to performances at that age, and of how proud the child would be of her older self.
Julia Lockheart chose two pages from Freud’s book The Interpretation of Dreams so that the left-hand page would have undivided text on which to represent the left hand and one set of keys, and the right-hand page would have a large bottom paragraph on which to paint the right hand and its keys, with a smaller paragraph above for the body and head of the child. The painting is composed so that the two hands curve together, and with the upwards side of the left hand following the left vertical edge of the text.
During the painting process words that Julia found on the page were incorporated into the artwork. Notable are -
In the window:
‘the house of a lady’
And in the head and body of the child:
Dream of returning pregnant to school and of escaping threats, told during an event for foundation to counselling students, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2nd February 2022
I am back in my old secondary school, looking around, with two of my old friends who are, like me, in our late 20s but in the dream, also 14 - 16 year-olds. I am in the ICT suite, which was also my 6th form room, there are computer, chairs and hexagonal tables. I remember that I used to watch Tracy Beaker on the TV in this room. One of my old teachers is here. I realise that I am heavily pregnant and am embarrassed and ashamed, feeling judged and wanting to explain myself to him. I then walk around the school buildings, exploring bits of it and going into the drama studio. I am next where I currently work, a youth service that is located in a school. It has a brown carpet and looks rather run-down. A young person I care for is there (I will call her ‘A’), and she is very distressed. This reminds me of what I know is a current situation for her. Somehow, she has the colour purple associated with her in the dream. She reaches out and touches my belly, I feel this is very intrusive and feel violated. I say “don’t do that.” The scene is now also the corridors at Goldsmiths, with black and white squares on the floor. I am then with A in an outside environment, it has a white colour but this is not snow. It is dangerous and there are characters from Harry Potter threatening us, evil people, one is Draco Malfoy, but they are faint, as I know they are fictional. I have to go through a cave with A so as to escape. I tell her that I am behind her, that she shouldn’t worry about me and should wait for me at the end of the cave. We go through the cave and emerge at the other end.
The painting depicted the four scenes in the dream: secondary school, current workplace, place of study, and then in the outdoors with a cave. Julia chose the pages from The Interpretation of Dreams based on four panels, so as to depict the four scenes of the dream. During the painting process Julia found the following words of Freud on the pages and incorporated them into the artwork:
At the top of the right-hand page:
‘instincts of the older girl will be awakened towards the helpless new-born infant.’
In the belly:
‘a new baby
with link to
‘hand and strokes her’
There I also in the middle of the left-hand page:
‘a girl’, ‘birth of the first child’, and ‘cried out at the birth’
Next to the teacher:
‘a good-natured, affectionate child
and took her under his special protection’
And in the face of A:
and on her body:
Dr Julia Lockheart