FREYA FLAVELL


Hobart/Lutruwita / Artist

Distancing at home, not doing paid work

Forever committed to the dredging of the subconscious



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I was looking up at a temple, an ogival creation much like Khmer architecture. Down some stone steps, I found a room filled with bunk beds. My friend had left blank postcards for me to fill in and post. They were ‘activist postcards’. I exited a train station. A young, black woman caught me by the arm and swung me around and around, giving me a whizzy-dizzy, until everything around me was blurred. We found ourselves in a barren, industrial patch of land, on a slope, with compact gravel, parched, spiky grass and thistled weeds. We decided to turn it into a community garden, and were so thrilled by our shared vision.

Then I was in a long, low building. It was an op-shop, I looked for jumpers. Then it was dark and empty. The floors were ancient brick, and the low ceiling was held by exposed beams in a dark wood. Intricate wooden architraves hung from the beams, close together, to create a kind of optical, pictorial image from a distance. It felt dusty and ancient, I thought perhaps it was a monastery. For a time I was with my Dad, and we discussed the design, and I told him it was the most beautiful building I had ever seen. I walked deeper into the building, past lines of pews, into a back room with a high ceiling. The room was piled with ancient tools and appliances, big stone mills, metal buckets, woven nets, pots and pans, so many treasures! I wanted to have them, but there was too much to carry ‘back’.

I left some sort of social gathering, to try and get back to my car. On the street were small explosions and young men running in all directions. It was dark and chaotic. I remembered my ability to fly, and with concentration, was able to cover high enough that my feet wouldn’t touch the men’s heads. For a moment I rode on someone’s shoulders. When I got to my car I had to ask for help because the key was stiff in the lock and I was in a hurry to be safe and drive.

(14/6/2020)



I was entering a large building with smooth, grey floors, high ceilings and lots of open space. I may have been wearing socks, as my footsteps were silent and I felt relaxed. I became aware that it was a Chinese restaurant, with beautiful booths and elegant circular partitions between each table. A gentle woman, also with silent feet, was leading me through. I saw people carefully biting into dumplings and I thought the food looked spectacular, but I knew the dumplings would not be gluten free, and it seemed my guide did too, because she led me out of the dining area and onto an outside deck that merged seamlessly with the interior. The angles of the building framed a scene of a river, with trees overhanging, reflected below. The light was like winter at dusk. The deck met the river perfectly, so that I felt like I could have walked onto the river itself. I was led around the corner and up into a field, backed by forest. An eccentric woman was lounging around atop a picnic table, I was informed that she was my art therapist. The table was covered in art supplies. In my dream mind’s eye I saw a pastel painting in yellow and orange that I wanted to create, but then felt I should be ‘honest’ with my expression, and chose a blue crayon. With it I drew a thin, wavy line.

(12/6/2020)



I was standing on a platform above a deep, green pool of water. I dropped a bunch of bok choy into the water by accident, and it sunk to the bottom. I jumped in after it, and sunk deep deep deep down into the water.

(11/6/2020)



My friends and I were arrested by the police. We were being dragged from a camper van into a police van. While they were wrestling me I got free and ran back to the van to get my ‘supplies’ as I knew they would be the only possessions I would have in future. I grabbed a sleeping bag, bundle of clothes and my silver jewellery box. I tried to choose some earrings but they were knotted together with my chain necklaces, so I had to leave them all behind.

(10/6/2020)



I was on an excursion of some kind, young people were near, I refused a sideways facing seat on a bus. We stopped in a dusty heritage town, I think the roads were dirt and each building had an interesting facade. A brick building was a museum. Someone showed me a photo they had taken of a person inside one of those half orb plastic viewing bubbles that they have in aquariums, where you get inside and it looks like you are underwater. I wanted a photo of myself in the orb, but it didn’t eventuate. I exited out a back door, down some stairs. It was nighttime. I flew smoothly over some bare trees, it was slow and blissful. I found a heritage home, and walked through some hallways. On a small landing downstairs, the dream became lucid. I noticed that I was breathing very slowly, trying to hold onto the clarity and decide what to do. Instead of creating a new scene, I chose to explore the scene that was already in front of me, but more consciously. A clean, modern, wooden door was to my left. Behind the door was a silent, beautiful bedroom with teak furniture, a woven grass mat, big gentle lamps and a large bed, surrounded by windows looking out onto the sidewalk of a city. I felt safe, knowing I was in control. I took off all my clothes, and piled the bed with feather doonas. I planned to lie down on top of them. Then I saw several boys outside the window, looking in. I lost the lucidity, and hid behind the doona pile. They pointed at me and cried, ‘she’s Jewish!’ and I was frightened. Then the room was full of naked women, it was very erotic, the city got noisy outside. I found myself in another room, quiet again, with pink velvet curtains and another bed. Behind the curtains were some willow trees, and a pond, overgrown with greenery. I suggested to my mother that with renovation, the place could be beautiful. We became aware that a woman owned the house. We were in a large room with her and many other people. She told us she didn’t like pianos because you had to tune them. Mum dropped a giant box of eggs under a table, everyone gasped. I hurriedly went to pick them up in an enamel dish but they were all cracked. ‘All cracked!’ I declared to the room. The dream changed, I was on bunk beds with my brother and sister. I found a white Nokia phone under the covers, the name Dave Hicks came up on the screen. A pad of tracing paper fell from a cupboard above me. My sister and I started singing in harmony, a song we wrote as we went along. It was endlessly beautiful, and I told myself to remember it upon waking, but without luck.

(24/5/2020)




I was on a bank of sand, surrounded by people, knitting. The sand began to give way under us, sliding into a pool of murky water. We were gasping, clutching at the sand, I was tangled in my knitting as bodies struggled around me. People jumped on each other’s shoulders, I watched them drown, shaking hands off me to try and swim free. It was absolute wet and disastrous chaos. I backstroked into open water, swimming through disintegrating bodies and algae. I was horrified. Then, I was on a concrete slab with a pit in the middle, with three dear friends. In the pit were mounds of flesh and human remains. My friend was vomiting, my other friend was white and clammy and couldn’t speak, though I tried to console him. We thought that by diving in the pit we would disintegrate and lose consciousness, and we wanted to leave our bodies. One friend fell backwards into the pit, but remained conscious, and I saw the terror on his face, and it shook me to the core. I had to leave. I ran through swinging doors in a corporate building, through grey rooms with people wearing VR headsets, typing on phones, computers and ipads, doing experiments, no one was speaking. It was equally as horrific as the death pit. I sprinted up stairwells, trying to escape each technology room. At the top of the building was a room with a ledge over a street. Young people were socialising precariously on the ledge. I found some wooden pigeon holes. I thought I would be safe if I locked myself in a box from the inside. I tried to crawl in but only my feet would fit. The room filled with water, green this time, like an indoor pool. A blonde girl was swimming behind me hanging onto my shoulders. Men around the pool were shouting at us, telling her she was attractive. I wanted to be gone forever. I swam under an overhanging ledge, and held onto a metal hook until my arms were so tired I had to let go. I recited a date, and said ‘this is the day I die’ and released myself into the water. I sunk slowly, consciously, deeper into the water until it was dark, and felt at peace. Then, I was back, walking down a staircase out of the same building. Hoards of people were headed into the building, with only a few of us coming out. I passed some guards and was released onto the street. Outside there were men brawling. They were screaming at eachother, scratching, punching, strewn all over the footpath, some out of their mind on substance, with deformed bodies. I was paralysed, I didn’t know where I could possibly go that was safe from the chaos. Then I was holding my brother, who was a baby. I had to buy food. I found a tiny grocery store, I may have stolen something and put it in a bag. My brother was getting smaller. I found some other young people, and we ran to a caravan. It was stuffy, filled with muck and grime from past tenants. I lay down my brother, bumping his head. It swelled, then cracked, and yellow gunk poured from his skull. A student pinched the skull together again. I found myself in an open space, outside. For a moment I felt restful and at home. I crouched down inside a bush of native grass, hoping I could wait until the chaos had passed. A scuffling, snorting sound came from the bush. A tiny pig emerged, which grew larger and larger until it was a giant boar, and then became a monolithic giant rat. Its tail ran from my position all the way to the horizon line. In one swift, lashing movement its tail tore up absolutely everything in view. Soil, buildings, forests, hills. The vision was of incomprehensible carnage. I knew I could never stay. I found my old friend, my friend who has three children, and held her hand. We ran into the dark, finding a stone tower, we tip-toed up a spiral staircase lined with ferns under a pitch black sky, each stair only a toe deep. We carried little black trollies, we knew they carried our children, or future children. It became narrow as we ascended, and I knew we were safe, but very, very alone.


There was an energy hanging over this entire dream, which was the presence of a very dear friend who had told me the day before that she is pregnant. It was as if she and her unborn child were hovering over the chaos of the dream, and the entire time I was trying to release myself from the earth to reach her. When I ascended the tower at the end, I knew I was close to her.

(22/5/2020 NEW MOON)




I had heard that my old primary school teacher was going to an educational conference in New York City. I wanted to go as well, so a few friends and myself attempted to book flights. On Google flights NY was just called The Epicentre and even the loudspeaker at the airport said the flight was departing for The Epicentre. Upon arrival I was gliding down a neighbourhood street. Out the front of each house was a young child dressed in a vintage apron, some of them had interesting details on the pockets. I arrived at a park. There were people everywhere, on bikes, in bright clothes, milling around. It was mid summer, the air was warm and the trees were green. I realised that I had been missing people, and was so thrilled to be surrounded by bodies again. I muttered to myself ‘the closer you are to death, the closer you are to life’. (I have never been to NY).

(20/5/2020)




I was teaching a class of children. On a shelf was a library of books about all the temples in the world. The task was to choose one. I chose a temple in Ladakh, I could see the image of it on the spine of the book. I was transported there, and was surrounded by cows, but I could only see their backsides. Then I became aware that I was on a different planet. I had to persuade many men that I was a woman from somewhere else. A young man got attached to a large chunk of orange chalk that I had given him. To prove I was different, I jumped onto a piece of wood, used it as a diving board, and backflipped several times in the air, swung with one arm like a monkey onto a giant beam of celery that acted like a broomstick, and flew off like a witch, waving goodbye.

(17/5/2020)



I was on a bed kissing my boyfriend that I have not seen for nine months. We were so happy to see eachother. We couldn’t sleep, so went for a drive down a tree lined gravel road at night. We found a creek, and skipped stones for a while. Then I was alone, walking in howling wind across a glacier in Alaska. I saw a giant vehicle with headlights driving over snow, and thought I needed to get one. I had the feeling that everyone thought I was foolish to make the trip, but I knew I wanted to. The scene changed once more and I was on a train with no carriage, just a thin strip of metal on wheels, going up a steep incline. It was hard to balance. I jumped off near a small station with long, dry grass. I saw several other trains coming, and knew they would collide. Upon impact they all derailed and smashed into the ground, tearing up the grass, and everyone was in shock.

(16/5/2020)



I was on a bare hill, with people milling about. They were all my classmates from primary school, my teacher too, I saw their faces clearly and was happy to see them. We had come to see the new house of one of my classmates, a good friend of mine. It was round, with some adobe walls, a high spiral ceiling, long high rectangular windows, grass mats on the floor,  and some ugly wooden panelling. I thought it was strange. I snooped into some of the rooms. One was full of couches covered in clothes, and one had a bookshelf of dictionaries from every language in the world. My friend seemed proud, I felt like he had grown up.

(15/5/2020)



I was at a wedding. My sister was marrying her Dutch boyfriend. There were hundreds of people in a large, historic auditorium with a black floor and walls and a stage. My Dad was wearing a blossom pink tucked and collared shirt. I didn’t recognise anyone, nobody said hello to me, not even my family. I left, and ran across a wet field of purple flowers towards a rotunda. Down the side of a hill I squatted down to look at some small ants, carefully building a nest.

(13/5/2020)



I was driving down a small, narrow road, my brakes were not working very well. My passengers commented on my driving, I think it was my family. I came to a carpark outside a general store and a pub. I remember wet roof shingles. As I left the car, I noticed the ground was frozen over, and I began to skid. Then I had boots, but my feet broke through the ice with each step and soaked me up to the knees. An elderly man was struggling too, ahead of me.

(12/5/2020)



I was in a supermarket, the same supermarket I often have nightmares about. I was trying to get supplies, and decide which foods would give me energy for the longest time. It was post Covid, everyone was shopping cautiously and it felt austere. A dark energy entered the building, I think it was a bad man. To hide, I climbed up the shelves onto a top shelf and lay down behind some tins. It was very dusty, I stayed there for a long time.

(11/5/2020)



I was in a quiet neighbourhood, possibly in my hometown. I noticed dead cats, people’s pets, strewn crudely all over the nature strip. Then I found a dead crow, and crouched down to look more closely. A black cat was up ahead on the road, I was thankful it was alive, but not sure if it meant bad luck for me.

(9/5/2020)



I was in a function room with bland décor, standing at the edge of the room with some other onlookers. A parade started, all the participants were in 1950s finery, lots of fur and jewels and hats, slowly walking by murmuring to themselves. Then I was on an oval, but looking through a window at a friend in bed who I knew was sulking from a tiff with her partner. I tried to console her but none of my advice was helpful. She decided to play darts with me. Where the goalposts would have been there were two giant dartboards. She threw her darts and all of them were bunched perfectly at the top in one target spot. I threw some of mine mine and a few didn’t hit the board, but then I threw a giant one and it landed in a good spot. The tail of it was split into four which divided into eight, and on each tip of the tail was a bright coloured pompom, and I was proud of it. There was cheering from the sports club, and I saw a large crowd to my left. We were going to play again but some young girls were waiting to play, so I went and sat on a grass slope with some people, and I looked at a small pink flower. The divorced parents of an old classmate were kissing in public and I thought it was strange. Someone came out of a building and told me I had a phonecall. I walked through some sliding doors into a modern building, searching up staircases and in public toilets for the source of the call. In a large gallery room with a black and white checked floor was an old man. The room was sparse, but had some sort of minimal installation. He told me that it was a death simulator that had just been installed, you could experience the body decaying while maintaining consciousness, and you would turn to cinder in the corner of the room. No one had yet tried it, and he said he was too frightened to try it himself. I told him that I was keen to try. I saw a giant green hose, and a bed of baby lettuce leaves. I had to give something up on a dish, then lay on the floor. My friend that has children was beside me. I lost all sense of my body, and saw around me a huge spiral with sunrays shining out of it. It was like a colourwheel but three-dimensional. It was flowing and moving, and the colours of the wheel were filling themselves in, it was like watching tiny pixels being coloured into a mandala. With every new colour I felt a wave of bliss, like it was completing the spectrum, as it became more and more complex. I noticed the difference between each colour. I especially remember all of the pinks and purples being beautiful. There was no way to come back to my body.

(3/5/2020)




I was at high altitude, the soil underfoot was moist, and there were dark trees around. I was handling a large piece of cloth, woven silk, in the most lustrous and bright orange-pink colour. I was trying to wrap it around my waist, figuring out how to wear it. I saw the back of a monk, wearing the same cloth, bending in front of me. Then I was handed a weapon. It was ceremonial so not very dangerous. It was wooden, with a handle and a large bulbous scoop-knob thing at the tip. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but I was then instructed by a formless being to place it atop five square stones, so I laid it there and felt slightly inexperienced but satisfied with my work. Then I was in a bright, blue swimming pool at night, under the stars. I was swimming breaststroke from one end to the other end, which had a diving board and platform. I was looking up at the stars while I swam, the water was warm, and I made the decision to go there every night, because I knew no one was around. I thought to dive under, but saw that there was a layer of shredded coconut floating on the top of the water, so chose not to. Then I was hiking on a mountain trail, downhill. I knew that two of my children were behind me, but I never saw them. (no children irl). I ran into a man, and told him he needed to meet my children, so we stopped and anticipated them coming around the corner. When they never came I got panicked, and started running back up the hill, calling for them, but never found them.

(2/5/2020)




I was in a car with my mum and sister. I am not sure if it was mum or myself that was steering. We braked before crossing some railway tracks, then turned right at an intersection into an old town. I knew it was post pandemic, the energy was different. We went to a market, and looked through some secondhand clothes. I found a blue suede pencil skirt with a red D-ring belt, and another A-line leather skirt, hand painted with fish and other symbols in black paint. The waist band was metal, and had a hinge at the back, and a padlock and keyring at the front to close. I knew that it was a chastity belt. Everything at the stall cost $55 and I thought it was too much.

Then, I wandered down some stairs, and saw a small play area for children. A young boy, with his lips painted green and yellow in a Spiderman design, was standing on a plastic table. He had a proud supervisor, that by subtle suggestion, said that the boy used to not be able to speak, but now he can. The boy told me that he liked designing maps. I got a phonecall, someone at the market was bringing me tea, and I had the choice of one jellybean. I chose 'the yellow one' and imagined the flavour of lemon. The supervisor held the jellybean in blue gloved fingers, then passed it to my mum, and then to me. Everyone agreed that it was hygienic.

I left the market, and wandered to a rural train station, with brick walls. It was night time. I looked to my right and saw a long boulevard of gently lit, very tall and old trees. I was completely mesmerised, I felt I had to go to the end of the strip, where it felt a bit dangerous. I began smoothly flying between the trees, I felt the breeze in my hair. A part of me wanted to take one last look behind me, so I did. When I looked I saw that all the trees behind me had been chopped down, and were in piles of logs. I was distraught, and starting running back crying 'nooooo' desperately, full of grief. It was daylight again. The land was dry and dusty, with sparse bushes. A man on patrol was pointing an old fashioned pistol at me, there was a mangy dog, and a ten year old boy. I put up my hands in surrender, but it was hard to raise them because there was something heavy on my shoulders, it was wooden.

He took me into a large canvas tent, there was a long table, and jovial people seated, some familiar to me. Everyone was wearing similar outfits, like a peasant costume, with hats, and the colour red. Someone was flipping giant quesdilla-style pockets on an iron grill, everyone was waiting patiently and happily for their food. I felt that I had been gone for a very long time, and had missed a big event. I asked what had happened. Someone said, 'Earth got sick, she shut down like a body'. Everyone nodded. I told them I was leaving now, to catch a train. They looked bemused, and said, 'no trains today, nor tomorrow'. It felt like time had literally stopped, and I was the only one that was yet to accept it.

(29/4/2020)



I was on a barren strip of sand and shells. I had left my family to go fetch something, and was faced into the wind, it was difficult to walk. Then, I was on a large, high platform inside a giant building, like an indoor pool. Below was a vast installation of bright blue slippery slides, the slides went down into deep black tunnels and the water was gushing heavily. I realised I was in a glass elevator, no longer the platform, and was anxiously waiting my turn.

I woke up from coughing heavily, and was very shaken.

(14/4/2020)



I was in a large circle of people, outside, on some grass. There were wooden houses on stilts nearby. There was an unspoken cue, and all the men respectfully left the circle and went down the hill single file. When the back of the last man disappeared, all the women breathed out, and started doing body movements, singing, making yogic poses on the ground, spinning, sometimes laughing. There was no leader, but we all felt that we were doing very important work, and each movement or action was considered. I remember feeling a little bit awkward and nervous in my body.

(7/3/2020)



I was on a beach, at waters edge. Some ocean people appeared in the waves, they were quite physically beautiful. They began pulling at my legs, asking me to go with them, trying to lure me, telling me I would. I was resisting, calling out NO boldly, trying to make it clear that I had made up my mind. Their collective energy felt patronising, like they thought I would submit, and that I was weak to their powers. My NO became louder and more definitive. They seemed frustrated at me, and gave up, retreating back into the waves. I have had this same dream, ten years ago.

(3/5/2020)



I was in a large open field on dry grass. I felt elated and light. People of all ages were spread evenly across the field with lots of space around them. Some people felt familiar to me. There was the feeling of music but I don't remember any sound. Everyone began dancing loosely, with their arms outstretched to the sides, wiggling the wrists smoothly. It was a celebration of some kind of freedom, and we did it with much communal humour.

(3/3/2020)
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