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 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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