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Gif of the sun setting behind clouds over the sea. Overlaid are white scribble marks and sketchy writing that appears to say ‘the dream vault’.

Thank you for contributing to our ecological unconscious.

26/01/2021

There is an ensemble improvising and pushing up to the same, the same note but when they get to it they hold it, repeat it, hold it & turn it inside out somehow. And this note is suddenly the basis of all the other notes and they go back to doing the same and the effect is that a larger structure is being discovered something truly outsized and wonderful. An old group chat keeps reminding me to come to this night and I am at the night and everyone’s the harshest critic I’ve ever seen of a much lesser piece than the one we’ve just heard and there’s two or three people that I met while we were students and I don’t remember their faces or their genders but I feel like I would sleep with them and my eye rests on their skin and I wish I would be inside the skin or level with its plane sheathing and over me.

29 April at 06.52am

Lately my dreams have been repetitive and overlapping. Not in an obvious way, but small elements of them feel incredibly familiar, as if there’s an internal dream logic that’s convincing me I’ve dreamed this before, even as the dream is still playing out. I just woke up from being on some kind of farm. Acres of juicy ploughed fields and picturesque barns, animals and greenery. The previous night I was in a richly decadent old theatre / music hall that felt like it stretched up to the sky like the Tower of Babel. Often I’m in architectural structures and there’s some kind of disjointed game going on. I’m being drawn along by some wider narrative, unaware of the rules, I either explore independently, or I’m guided more forcefully. Just now I was led by a person who looked like Michael from Lost. He kept trying to oversee my movements almost like a mentor or stage manager, but my mum and/or dad kept coming in with brighter ideas and bundling me into a car saying they could help me win, that they had the answers. I knew they were taking me on wild goose chases but I didn’t resist, instead I kept texting Michael, but my fingers wouldn’t work the keys as fast or as accurately as I wanted. Towards the end there was a teen film aspect to it. Some people who were like my rivals, the archetypal popular film nemeses. Someone was doing some graphic design to fit all our heads onto a poster and the main popular girl was annoyed about something. She wanted to be the main focus of the graphic design. I checked out because I try not to be competitive. As I’m writing this I can tell I’m trying to make real-world sense of it all, and I’m miscategorising things that happened. As I become more and more awake, and less immersed in the dreamscape I begin to think “why was a teen movie happening on a farm?” and the bubble bursts. Everything that’s in my dreams recently feels like it’s presented for my (sub)consciousness without judgement. It often makes me feel nothing. I’m not stressed I’m just buffeted along without agency, observing benignly.

Swimming

I am swimming in a vast expanse of ocean. I come up against a dark current of water that feels like a wall, or a force from which I cannot go beyond. The ocean feels endless, ominous but also beautiful. It is not clear where I am trying to go but I know I can’t go past this point.

I look above me and see a ski lift moving in the sky, aboard it are some old friends. I climb onto a rock and try to get on board one of the moving chairs, although I am close and able to reach, something prevents me from doing this. They are moving into the distance in the sky.

I get back into the water and begin swimming back to the place I began.

17th April 2021

Some of the dream was at a family wedding but I don’t remember a whole lot of that. I remember a bike ride in which I am taken in by this woman who is so sweet and curious, she invites me up and she is serving endless pizzas from the fridge. She has a real job as a lawyer but also runs a pizza cafe with her partner who also lives with her. I am able to see her life in a flash of nonstop ‘being somewhere for someone’ and then these delicious late evenings to come home and serve food to her flatmates but this being something that brings her such joy, you can see it in her eyes. I watch her serve the flatmates a big pan of a bow-shaped tomato pasta which somehow she has made to look gourmet. I shyly make my cue to leave and then on the way out I meet a handsome Italian(?) man who resembled the Waitrose doorman yesterday and I ask him if he wouldn’t mind reinserting the key on my way out, it goes in the inside lock, and there was also a kind of slant bolt called a ‘virga’ and he was like “ah yes, the virga” and blithely I said “I love that word, virga”and soon I was out the door onto Maryhill Road, about to get back on my bike, struggling to join the flow of traffic safely. I had hospitality flashbacks because I was telling the woman about my own time working in a very quiet/very busy restaurant. I could smell the brasserie in my dream. It was always must or sticky alcohol or fish. The worst was Sunday mornings.

Honey, I live actioned the voiceover

I dreamt that all the voice actors who play inanimate objects in sci-fi and adventure films, were cast in a live action film together. They were all baffled and excited to have human flesh. They were on a spaceship together, hovering over earth on a very normal day. There was something to do with each character having a signature scent, too… or maybe their senses were all just so sharpened because they were used to being robots or speaking clocks. It was like a peaceful Avengers film, soothing but surprising.

16/5/21

Dreamt about forgetting something, in a strangely compelling way in the middle of a highly vivid dream. I was hired to give an interview about a book to a group of ‘diverse middle aged women up north’, as part of a festival. It all took place in a town hall. The dream followed all aspects of the trip, from the train journey and the walking between barriers and slipping in tickets to the arrival where a lovely man handed me leaflets and I worked out where I was going. L. was there and I was trying to follow their lead but somehow I knew they were also working away in a different continent doing remote good things and I was stuck here in the physical present. As in, sometimes they got this look in their eye and you knew they were on email to someone. When I opened the leaflets and the book something happened; I had already given the talk and interview, for which I had been so earnestly nervous. A time loop happened. I found myself at the end of a corridor of books, looking out into sunlight in a street resembling London. As in, I got there having already done the interview. I knew because I must have looked like I was close to fainting; a man said, “Oh, you’ve already given it, how was it?” and I looked so dazed at him in the dream it was like dazed-looking myself from the future, like I knew this would happen IRL sometime. He passed me by in a snare of having caught me. The rest of the dream was me trying to exit the festival and process what had happened. People asked me how the interview went and what could I say? “Oh, I’d been there having already done it”. There were huge portraits of men beaming down at me from the room where you had to un-register yourself. They were leaning off the wall. I waited to be asked for drinks or something; some narrative gesture towards what’s next. I was one of the last. I clutched my mask but no one seemed to be wearing one. We all kept a decent distance, naturally, so much we could easily have all been dreaming each other into existence. If I can’t touch you in a dream, how do I know you are really there? When you really touch someone in a dream that’s when you wake up. And then I did or I dreamt narrating this interview to f. at six in the morning before sleeping again and forgetting the dreams that came next.

Dream Imperative

This morning I was lying in and my dreams were scrambled.
Lots of montage and short ‘scenes’. This went on for what felt like hours, a vibrant mash up of relationships, landscapes, interiors.
Finally I was speaking to someone I bumped into.
They were telling me about their day.
I responded, and admitted guilty “I was meant to go to the studio today..” and then immediately woke up.
It wasn’t the usual sleepy emergence into waking, I was one minute completely asleep and then the next minute completely awake.
I got out of bed and made my way to the studio.
I think that’s the first time my brain has given me such a clear signal that the inner world was in sync with the outer world, and propelled me into action.
It made me wonder if we could use dreams to help us solve real world problems.

smeuse

The stars swayed as though viewed through a spring tide.
They gave me a crown of black seaweed then buried me head-first in the mud.

Time shrinks.

The voice says:
“Reality is a commonly agreed state… We mark its borders with shared and contested language. Conflict fastens it like colour to the world.”

We begin again.

An ever folding moment, fine and thin as Japanese paper. The dirty glow of yesterday seeping into the brilliance of a morning without edges. I write my name in an unfamiliar script and the gnarled hieroglyphs become small, dark animals which scatter like broken shadows. In a state of possession I try to reclaim the lost moment but I don’t have the words, only animal grunts and YouTube videos…

Back then we lived in a little house where you always had to pass on the stairs (even if you weren’t changing floors). It was so small we didn’t need a telephone, just tin cans on strings. Before I left the city I gave every friend a can of magic beans and asked them to keep in touch. Back in those days, we used to eat rainbow ice cream for dinner and were too busy dreaming to ever paint the walls.

In the basement of the house was an old arcade window with heavy red velvet curtains, behind which artists would put on shows. I was always disappointed with the standard and their (as I considered it) unnecessarily aloof attitude but we were just so glad to help. Occasionally, at night, the garden would unfurl into a beach, pegged down at every corner by humming conch shells. There, on the beach in the amber light, I would meet my sister and we would stretch out under the warmth of the moon and write the names of everyone we loved in the sand.

Like him.

His bejewelled face was that of a gaudy religious icon, hung low, marble eyes ever dancing along the geometry of paving stones.

I stuffed the crumpled stars of rocket flowers into my pockets and tried to grasp the songs that floated hotly in the evening air. We found ourselves, back again, trapped in the brittleness of youth – a greasy café beneath a concrete overpass – between us the red-and-white-chequered-tablecloth, cut glass salt and pepper pots, and love – like an embarrassing stain – spreading on the table between us.

I didn’t tell him about the dream. He wouldn’t have believed me, anyway.

I didn’t tell him about the green giantess with stars in her seaweed hair, who turned her face down to me and said without speaking:

“The answer to your question is the question, itself”.

Post Internet Pastoral

I dream that the pastoral is the personal is the political, or rather this is what I want to dream. Instead I dream about spelling mistakes, shelter, being late to a train station, about the cost of living. I would like to have a dream about becoming pastoral in the future. I have heard William Blake was good at this, but I don’t know who told him to unburden his desire. In most dreams I am living in houses I used to occupy. I am always better at occupying the past. I have had one or two dreams of the future in the past few years. In one, my niece, and all of my family are watching the news on TV. As we are gathered in anticipation of what we assume will be constitutional crisis, my niece oracularly declares ‘no deal.’ This is the kind of dream worth repeating. In another, we are all able to gather again. I struggle to find unity in the dreamworld and believe this is what makes it worthwhile. I go to a poetry reading given by Bernadette Mayer who says hypnagogia is excellent and that dreams are the recycled trash of the everyday. This gives me hope as it might anyone who has experienced broken dreams.

A different influence...

I had this dream a week ago now, but it has been playing on my mind ever since. My dreams at the moment have either been uninteresting or I have forgotten them by the time I have left my bed and brushed my teeth… but this one in particular, was so vivid and I keep thinking about it. I was back in primary school, going into the school hall which is also the canteen at lunchtime. I did what was my normal routine of standing in the lunch queue and going through a set of double doors to the right hand side of the hall. These doors took you into the kitchen to get your school dinner. However, I walked through the doors and my flatmate was there … telling me I need to decide what I want? The dinner lady behind the counter had an angry look on her face. I was very confused as my flatmate didn’t know me during primary school or knew me when I was this age, I looked down and realised I was my 26 year old self, but back in a place I hadn’t been to in over 15 years. As I looked back up, the kitchen was empty, my flatmate was gone, and I heard party music coming back through to double doors to the canteen/school hall. I turned and realised there was flashing lights similar to a 90s school party. I went through the doors again, and it was a school party! However, everyone who was there who I recognised were people currently in my life, not from when I was in primary school. Even more bizarrely, they were acting like children. Running around, sliding across the floors, eating sweets from party bags, living life like a child… yet they were all 20-30 year olds. I couldn’t understand what was going on, I began shouting to tell them to stop messing around, I questioned if they were under some sort of influence and then I realised… I was the only adult in the room. This realisation made me sad and for a moment, part of me longed to be in their mindset, to be a playful child again without a care in the world…

Early 2021: after watching the film 'Spaceship Earth'

I can’t remember what was on the news, but it was global news, much like the pandemic, and it affected everyone, and it was related to all of the trees. I was at home with my family in Manchester, and I remember ‘it’, this weather happening, coming towards us. I said to hurry up and close all the windows, I guess not knowing what it might do to affect us. I remember peering out the window at one point to see quite a dramatic deep dark black cloud type thing coming over, it reminded me of the description the astronauts gave when they were looking at the universe from space – the blackest black you’ve ever seen. As this cloud came over it looked a little like a flat, freeform hot air balloon, and it began to open up with lots of holes, and it proceeded to just burn the trees away. Just the trees though, nothing else, straight to the ground. I was so alarmed, but no-one else seemed concerned at all. I then looked down at my feet to see my work shoes looking really dirty, and in bad disrepair.

the quantum mushroom & other sundries

Notebook page with a dream described in black ink.

Sunflowers

Bundles of sunflowers sprout from the eyes of the animals.
There are too many animals to be ageless and say
faint as we are, as a copy machine lights the next blink
after blink, sweetly I see as we are. Bundles of sunflowers.
I want to commute to the place where he worked in the afterglow
free, the prospect of kingfishers or how a MacBook changes
tones at sunset. Black as black gets sweet in the eyes of cats
are liquorice. I exhale
the long bright lace of the dream
emits my name.
These flowers.

my undoing

I am in, or have recent emerged from, a prison environment when I am accused of stealing a tripod—which is also a music stand—from a person who is a mixture of somebody I need to return a book to but am avoiding, an ex-lover who wants to start seeing me again, and a boy I have met recently. Having lost this tripod has been devastating for this person, who is multiple, and they are angry in a disappointed way that is also focused and unrelenting. I feel as though I may not be able to escape the force of their feelings.

In the dream, I believe that the back story to what is occurring has been part of another dream I’ve already had, and if I’d written this down I would be able to sort all this out. But I accept that the tripod has been lost; even that I have some knowledge of this, that I am complicit in some way. But have very little idea how my actions have led to this situation and am fairly certain that I did not steal the tripod.

I begin to become anxious when I then remember that I did give an old tripod away a long time ago, but it belonged to someone I lived with and not the person who is not accusing me of stealing. Even so, I say I don’t know anything about any tripod.

I believe this will be my undoing. I will be in very serious trouble. I will end up being prosecuted, going/returning to prison—indefinitely. I have very little force to stop the onslaught of this person’s emotion. I am ill-equipped. And I believe this to also be my fault, my crime.

I wake up.

Spiders

A recent dream about giant spiders which made me reflect on our fears of exotic creatures. Spiders deserve love too <3

Bread knife / boots

I am in a garage/storage unit — concrete, steel shutters. I am wrestling with this man and know that he is going to do something horrible to me. We are wrestling and wrestling and wrestling, but the movement is stilted because I feel an overwhelming sense of restriction; I have limited resistance in my arms, so I’m just trying to hold him away for as long as I can. This is a very familiar feeling for dream-me. But there is also a strange sexual tension in it all – he keeps grinning at me.

I awake (within the dream still) lying next to him, fully clothed on the concrete floor. I have to cut his throat but only have a bread knife – it doesn’t work and he just laughs at me. I am trying to saw at his trachea. He is totally unafraid, maybe this is why it does not work.

Then I leave the storage unit – I am wearing a pair of blue zebra print, knee-high, heeled boots and they attract lots of complimentary looks as I strut away down a nondescript high street.

tahini date syrup from THE DREAMHOUSE

one capsule into my car in THE DREAMHOUSE

so many oceans in THE DREAMHOUSE

Gif of 2 cartoon blue eyes opening and blinking. They are over a background of a dark blue to light green fade.