Unveiling The Unconscious – Dream

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

The Parisien Dream

by Geraldine Jull

This true account of a dream was surely triggered by my analysis of the surrealist seminar that I had attended earlier. Retiring late at night I was extremely tired and presumably in receptive mode for an unusual event. This merger of my irrational thoughts transposed into a memorable, surrealist dream.


I was walking through a large city pushing a baby’s pram. I was pushing an old-fashioned baby’s pram, exceptionally low to the ground with a long handle, wicker work body and hood that appeared to me to be French. The sun was shining, I could hear French being spoken and I was accompanied by my father. I am thus assuming that the city was Paris.

The clothes we wore were old-fashioned, the time frame must be inter world wars. We entered a long, covered walkway with groups of men standing around talking and smoking Gauloise cigarettes that I recognised by the smell. They were all smartly dressed in suits and ties, wide lapels and voluminous trousers. I vaguely recognised some of them as being artists, why I do not know, I could not name them.

My father and I continued along this lofty covered walkway and we entered through a large oak door into a church but before we could view any of this magnificent building the baby in the pram started to cry. When I pulled back the covers it was not a baby’s face but the face of one of Salvador Dali’s melting clocks from his famous picture Persistence of Memory. This did not seem out of the ordinary to me or my father.

We left the church and walked back the way we had come bypassing the group of artists and made our way out into the city sunshine, where the clock-face baby stopped its wailing cry.




Anne’s Legacy

by Harriet Guildford

My dream can be analysed in relation to Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams being representative of our unconscious desires. It is possible that my dream may represent a fulfilment of a wish, and possibly falls under Freud’s category of ‘Anxiety Dreams’, in which distortion occurs in order to prevent fear.


I personify the stone cold feeling in my soul

I will embody everything we used to be

Everything our lives used to be and could’ve been

I have become the foundation in which we blossomed upon

The blanket of our life, our love

Preventing the erosion of our memories in which I desperately yearn to preserve

I will hold down the fort

Where life utters no sound


I was walking up a long gravel path that seemed to be never ending, solely focusing on my path and my thoughts of what to expect when I came to my inevitable destination. As I walked, my mind conjured up images of crowds of people taking part in a celebration, filling me with feelings of anticipation and excitement. When my journey was near to its end, a elderly man appeared beside me who I recognised as my Grandfather, he seemed to arrive out of nowhere. He informed me that his name was Anne, and that he couldn’t stop to chat as he had an important event to attend. Before I could question him as to whether this event was the same one that I was attending, he vanished.

My pathway led me to a grand mansion. Surrounding the building, was a vast expanse of land, with lurid green grass, adorned with decorations in the form of flamboyantly dressed men and women. I found myself entering the mansion, and as I did, I was no longer physically present in my own dream. This is when I heard a familiar voice that began a softly spoken narrative as I weaved my way through the ribbed vaults and flying buttresses, as a sort-of ghostly entity. I came to recognise this voice as belonging to Anne, who I had met in a chance encounter on my journey here. He spoke solemnly of his situation, in which he appeared to be stuck between the crippling grief of the passing of his beloved wife, and the joyous fun and prosperity that was taking place over on the green lawn outside. As he walked through the house, he told me of his struggle to leave it and join the celebration on the lawn. As he spoke, the building started to crumble away.

He seemed to enter a panicked state as his home disintegrated, causing him to make the irrational decision to gather the falling rocks in his hands and consume them.

I somehow managed to make my way out of the eroding mansion, and found myself in the front courtyard. In the centre of the courtyard, sat an enormous stone statue of a hunched-over man, whose limbs were interwoven in a self-protective manner. The statue was Anne, who I recognised as my grandfather, but with a striking resemblance to my Mother.




She burns hot and cold

by Lauren Tilley

This dream was significant to me, being so out of the ordinary to what I usually experience. I found it fascinating as I analysed what had happened in the dream, trying to understand how my waking state had affected what my subconscious showed me throughout the night, as if it were a film.


I was sitting in an empty room, looking up at a staircase. I don’t know how I got there, but I knew it was a psych ward. The room was lit by a flickering bulb. A woman opened the door at the top of some wooden stairs and walked down towards me. I don’t remember talking to her at all, only her slow and cunning voice talking at me.

She was a psychiatric patient, sectioned in the ward because she had filmed herself murdering people in the same fashion as the serial killers she researched. As she described each murder, my dream was like a film, showing me each kill in great detail with undeterminable transitions between that are so prevalent in dreams. I remember a feeling of grave disgust.

The room we were in was monochrome, beige. Everything from the floor to the ceiling and the objects in between had been drained of colour. The only contrast was her dark hair, until she asked if I wanted to see the cover of the ‘film’ she had created of her murders. I don’t recall replying. Despite this, she showed me the cover. I can picture the cover so vividly; a victim of hers she had photographed on an icy cold floor. The face was drastically burnt, totally disfigured.

This was the moment I woke up, full of dread from this close-up image that filled my dream-state vision. The most terror I felt was not in the dream however, it was in waking opposite the pillow next to me. It was one of the strangest sensations, seeing this pillow that was so perfectly moulded as the disfigured head I had just been so petrified by. I was frozen for what felt like hours, staring at this pillow that I understood as the head of a victim. I was in a state of cognisance, understanding that the figure next to me was simply a soft pillow. However, the dream state I had so abruptly woken up from hadn’t fully passed, despair and shock were still dominant emotions.