Friday, 2 January 2015

Dream 343

'Factory Working Artist'
I was looking at my right breast. There was a nipple-sized lump at the point where my breast joined my ribcage at the side (just below my underarm). It was hard, knobbly, itchy and dark - almost purple/black. I thought it might be possible to pick it off. I didn't think it was a serious illness, such as cancer, but just an abnormal growth. I wasn't overly concerned, but I was annoyed as I felt it made me look unattractive. I put on a bra and top to cover it. 

I was then in an outside setting. It was dark - dusk. There was a concrete circle with small, shallow steps down to the centre, where some people were sitting. In the centre of the concrete circle was a short, wooden bench. I had laid out some paintings on this bench. These were paintings I had actually painted during my GCSE art coursework (which I believe my nan still has possession of). The paintings were in acrylic paint and were a mix of abstract expressionism and figurative studies - of Karl Marx (in front of a background of factory chimney stacks and inscribed with 'Religion is the opium of the people') and J Robert Oppenheimer (in front of a mushroom cloud from the atom bomb he developed, inscribed with atomic equations and a quote from the Hindu deity Shiva found in the Bhagavad Gita, attributed to Oppenheimer following the creation of the atom bomb: 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds'). The other paintings were self-portraits in the style of Egon Schiele. I was joined with a male - he seemed to be a composite character of CG (also an avid painter) and someone else, unknown. I was trying to decide whether to leave my paintings in this concrete circle, which seemed to be a ritualistic grounds. I thought it might be best to take my paintings away, because if they were left unguarded they may be destroyed or stolen. I even had distrust for CG and told him I would be looking after my art.

I then went to work - I worked in a factory making chocolate cakes. The factory was very well-lit and spacious (there was a lot of unfilled floor space) with a shiny steel counter in the centre. There was a female friend with me, who may have been a composite character, as I recognised her as a friend in the dream, but cannot recall exactly who she was. We were dressed in checked overalls - a kind of apron/tabbard you might see a canteen worker or shop assistant wear. We were getting ready to start our shift in the factory, which resembled a large commercial kitchen with old-fashioned, noisy cake making machines at one end. It was our job to go to the machines and remove trays of ready-baked cakes and then put them on the central counter. I had placed my paintings on the counter where the cakes should be. I said to the other girl: 'This is our permanent job now' - this idea depressed me. I thought the job would have been fine if it was temporary and facilitated me getting a better profession or was a stop-gap while I continued my education, but I got the sense that this was all we would now be doing with our lives. I felt trapped by the factory work because it was brainless tasks and a dead-end job which did not inspire or satisfy me. The other females who worked in the factory seemed to feel the same - we all thought we had more options open to us, but our aspirations were now meaningless. I felt like a failure.

As I am undertaking a Dream Incubation Experiment which has a n overtly Freudian theme, I decided to write a page of stream of consciousness/free association linked with this dream and the imagery/symbolism. When I woke up, I sat with a pen and paper and concentrated on the memory of this dream. I then wrote down a chain of words (without focusing my attention or concentration on them) as they sprung to mind. I have included a photograph of my stream of consciousness exercise below:

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