Unveiling The Unconscious – Automatic Writing

Student work from the module Surrealism: Myth And Modernity (2020/2021), 2nd/3rd year elective

Les Méandres du Passé

by Furaha-Pehoua Mujynya

Staring at my window, I tried to empty my mind in order to let any thoughts flow freely. In doing so, I realized the ability of my brain to connect any images with a thought, a smell, a sound or a memory.


Les Méandres du Passé (ne sont pas si lointains qu’ils n’y paraissent)

I know that I try to see through it but all I see is past memories and lost thoughts

But still I seek to see the future, though I remain chained to a tree that has long disappeared

I do not understand why it is, that every time I think

All I can see is a past I wished didn’t exist

Though it still remains as it is,

Weighing me down, preventing me from moving forward

Or maybe it is trying to protect me from repeating the same mistakes

But god I wished those trees did not remind me of him

That this smell did not allow millions of images to run through my mind

That those sweets did not make me slightly smile and sad at the same time

But I cannot prevent all those objects to have in them my past self

I cannot stop from wandering in les Méandres du Passé

Qui sont à la fois : fantômes et souvenirs chaleureux, douleurs, rires et tragédies

Ma vie, mon passé et tout ce que je suis

Et d’une certaine manière, un reflet de tout ce qu’il y a à venir




Acquisition Dreams

by Liam Eckersley

This piece of automatic writing was created from the unstructured and obtrusive thoughts of several attempted trances, which were collected over a two-week period. The most interesting of these thoughts were added to a list, and then the best of these were selected for this piece.


A cocoon is waiting for me back at my room

Morose Fructose

A thunderstorm sleeps in the Milky Way

Pretentious gift shops and idealised milkshakes

Crickets and cicadas

Sheep’s intestines hang knotted from the trees

Under stars and bushfires

Chaotic brain aneurisms

These cucumbers were grown in volcanic soil

Field recordings made when I was twelve

Sacrificial Anatolian jail-forms

I spend all of Thursday weighing leaves

Remote footpath muggings

Spirals on the shed roof

Mercury poisoning

Clear voyages through western snow

Snake skins line my windowsill

Acquisition dreams

The pillar of worms sinks lower everyday

Mountains and peaches




Moments under an umbrella

by Francesca Coyer

This piece combines automatic writing and chance encounters with inanimate objects. An overflowing amount of inspiration came from thinking about an umbrella and our relationship with it. It was a very difficult task, but one that I recommend everyone try. From it spawned a new way of seeing and thinking. 


Standing under an umbrella is an act of relief, un moment pour respirer,

A moment to end the battle against the elements.

Although the war is not won, take pride in winning this fight.

The instant feeling of relief and release, like the highlight of undoing my bra clasp as you walk into the comfort of your own home. Like knowing you’re putting your feet up for the last time that day, you can finally relax.

Feelings of accomplishment second to the finally pausing.

Sharing an umbrella with someone else brings you closer, not just physically but mentally drawn together like a magnet.

Together you are brought into your own moment.

You can take a clear breath again,

You may bump heads but that will only crack a smile onto a cold and wet face.


What I love about umbrellas is being able to hide,

Passers-by unable to make out any details on my face as they push forward in their fight.

Even better the thought of moving bodies keeping away worried of hitting it or being hit by it. If you knock an open umbrella in the rain, the bullets it shielded you from, run down its smooth edges, a quick concentrated pour anyone would be keen to avoid.