Dream Dressing Table

Dream Dressing Table

revised 10 January 2009

Rrose's business card

Rrose's business card

“textiles from the subconscious, clothe yourself in clouds”

“Recently I suggested that as far as feasible one should manufacture some of the articles one meets only in dreams, articles which are as hard to justify on the grounds of utility as on that of pleasure.” – Andre Breton 1924, as quoted in A Book of Surrealist Games.

This section of Rrose’s journal is devoted to her dressing table. In it, she records images of textile and wearable art that come to her in dreams and visions. Some of them get made into real artifacts. The objects may not have utility, but Rrose has found that many of them do provide sources of pleasure.

The items listed below are found on Rrose’s dream dressing table in a chaotic heap:

  • rainbow pitcher – ‘A Sense of Peace’ hypnogogic vision, a clear plexiglass water pitcher that has light rainbow colours running through it. A hand has picked up the pitcher in a gesture of pouring water into a tumbler. The pitcher, however, is not hollow but a solid chunk of plexiglass, as is the tumbler, thus it cannot contain any liquid. It would be difficult to create this artifact as a sculpture without special equipment, but may be possible to use 3-D digital imaging to produce a graphic representation of the vision.
  • pillow quilt tapestry – ‘Longest Night of the Year’ vision upon waking, the vision included a hand embroidering black satin stitches. This piece is comprised of nested layers of fabric. The base layer is a square of black velvet, the next layer is a square completely covered with glossy variegated fibre. On top of that is an oblong of black satin solid embroidering. In the centre of that is a loop of variegated blue and purple ribbon ‘eyelash’ fibre.  Because material available in dream is not always in stock in Aber shops, I have had to compromise to come as close as possible to the original vision. Materials are acquired and first stage of embroidery is completed.  It won’t look exactly like the vision but will approximate the effect.
  • ribbon ring – vision upon waking, a ring made of crinkly fabric ribbons in bright colours bunched up into a chrysanthemum shape. The band of the ring is made of elastic.
sketches for some items for Dream Dressing Table

sketches for some items for Dream Dressing Table

  • wire and fibre brooch – vision upon waking, made of a thin wire mesh that is partly covered with burgundy-coloured fibre. Twist the mesh into a rosebud shape, squash to flatten slightly, and attach a pin on the back. Use as a brooch.
  • batik shirt – part of a series of four objects in a series of visions upon waking, this is a flowing long-sleeved shirt with a particular batik pattern on it. (I may sketch with Rrose drew in her journal and include it here to give you a better idea). Vertical stripes of different colours with swirls of white where the wax resist was.
sketches for items for Dream Dressing Table

sketches for items for Dream Dressing Table

  • cloud coat – a series of recurrent dreams in the late 1980’s led to the construction of a real coat. It is a tailcoat made of light gauze fabric that has been drip-dyed in washes of blue on white. First seen in a dream of a textile art gallery, subsequent dreams consisted of details of construction. Eventually a sewing machine was purchased and the coat made. Unfortunately, the years weren’t kind and I got rid of the coat prior to starting this series of art works, otherwise I would provide you with a photo.
  • layers of colour on wooden stands – another aspect of the initial dream of the cloud coat, these items have not been made nor seen anywhere since. Finely-constructed heavy wooden stands from which light gauzy fabric of various colours is suspended in layers. Light is transmitted through the layers such that the colours add and combine to make new colours, depending on how they overlap. (this piece requires a rather elaborate series of sketches to concieve, I may replicate Rrose’s plan if possible).
  • butterfly skirt – a design dreamed in a previous decade, never created. A cream coloured full-length skirt made of wool, with butterflies embroidered on it.
  • rose ring – a dream just before waking, Rrose walked into a jewelry store that had only one item, a gold ring with a rose design. The rest of the dream consisted of an extreme close-up view of the ring, in all its detail. After waking, she sketched it and brought the sketch to a jeweler, who made the ring.
rose ring

rose ring

rose ring

rose ring

More to come on the ever-mounting heap of items on the dressing table of Rrose Sélavy.


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