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:
Dr Julia Lockheart