Winter SDM #11 (Thursday 28 January 2021)


Hosts and Note: Rachel Kelly and Juliet Scott

Dream #1:  in church at mass, crowded, sitting with brother. Dreamer points to youngish woman with no hair, tanned.  So-called patriots.  Don’t look now – brother cranes contortedly to look.  Judgement – has the woman been on holiday abroad.  Then wonders whether she is ill .

Dream #2:  the dreamer is at grandparents’ house in Cardiff, mother’s childhood home.  Exactly the same as was – mother rushing around taking things off shelves.  Won’t the new owners be upset? But mother says we can do this.  Owners return – outraged and berating.  Can’t they tell mother is still grieving?  Still scrambling to get furniture out but realise it is already gone

Dream #3: all of DCP programme in cavernous gallery, packed with people.  Just about staying together.  Dreamer wants to wash hands, obsessively.  Behind every door is packed with people.  Labyrinth of washrooms – lost, anxious, I lost you all.  The dreamer notices rest of DCP group walking across – seeing him.  Level of disapproval.  Still left trying to get out of this place.

Dream #4: we are all in a DCP meeting in person – travelling, feeling harassed and anxious

Dream #5: a dream from last night at a wide long beach, chatting to someone.  Crowded.  The other person says there’s a tsunami every 20 mins, next one about to come – tremendous, going to wipe out everything.  But the sea is flat – the tsunamis come from behind.  They go next to a protective 20 storey building.  See a wall of water approaching, no escape.  Higher than building.  Ride the wave, surfing.  Immense beauty.  Wipes out everything.  Walk to beach, everyone is there again.  The next one comes in 10 minutes, nothing you can do.

Dream #6:  indistinct, recurring section clearer.  Some good place to be, safe, content.  Something bad is going to happen.  Need to do something, not clear what.  A fear related to physical threat or attack from people.   Moves to joyful – sharing the experience with these people – high stakes but fun.

Association #1:  the fifth season – how to get to that point and the vulnerability involved.  Joy in the process.  A stake in the ground.

Association #2:   tsunami – capacity of witnesses to see it as very beautiful despite destruction.  High risk – senses at maximum.  Tremendous beauty keeps returning.

Association #3: crowded spaces – Irish artist moved from painting cronies, single heads to images of crowds over past year.  What’s private, what’s collective? Private – crisp, definite; group – indistinct, out of focus.  Richter photo – out of focus so full of mystery, potential, interest.

Association #4:  judgement and shame – working in public with a group

Association #5: working with body and shame, switching off the camera when working with the body

Association #6:  crowds – an artist’s session, on the floor, making a circle, enjoying.  Creative destruction: both natural and a potential threat.  What can be tolerated?  The creative act is destructive.  Resistance to the arts in society, in organisations.

Association #7:  confusion, did you say…distracting? destruction?

Dream # 7 – fragments, no coherence, all part of same dream.  Sharing bed with a colleague, can’t sleep, could disrupt him.  He says, don’t worry I’ll sort it out.  Outside of flat – drilling, cavernous, architectural.  2 brothers of childhood friend arrive – don’t recognise dreamer.  Creating things for this friend – bags being sold for free.  Policy work taking the form of things in bags.


  • There was so much in the dreams that felt real, concrete situations. Made connections with the (lost) possibility of going to see my parents and of being together for the Winter season.
  • Affect of SDM on me.  Made me feel slightly disconnected from where I am – walking, a dreamlike state. 
  • Peaceful experience with space between dreams – lots of things coming to mind, more and more.  So much, hard to make sense and construct sentences
  • Dissonance between my experience and experience of others.  In the dreams, assuming things from others, inviting others to agree with assumptions.
  • Enjoying DCP dream.  Noticing how dreams being influenced by day before.  A musical moment. 
  • Comedy to it – I woke up with a smile
  • Possibility of another relationship with each other apart from Zoom and coming to end of programme.
  • Winter season – wrapping up.  Inevitability of end but everything continues as if nothing happened
  • Beginnings, endings, transitions.  Last time I was here was at the launch of DCP – the big beginning.  This moment feels more like a transition.
  • One DCP participant (also an Institute staff) in wearing a white coat in top left hand corner of the Zoom screen– reminder of the health service – overseeing everything; the current context.

Reflections on writing these notes.  

Rachel wrote the note very quickly, I (Juliet) was pleased about this because of having a backlog of writing to do but also missed or lamented the writing up process.  I have a new fountain pen and find that my hand writing is much more legible with it.  I also like what reveals itself about the matrix in the note writing.  I do find my way in through editing, filling in the few gaps in Rachel’s notes.  There is a lot of mention of DCP, of connection with each other and I wonder if this signifies us loosening the boundary between the unconscious and conscious life of the group and how this work is another voice to our process and its situation in time.    

Image: Toilets at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.

Programme Director. Artist; curator; consultant weaving together the arts and social science in engaging ways.

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