Night & the City Exhibition – 2023

Night & The City

A series of urban dreamscapes

I began to paint this series in late 2022 fuelled by a series of dreams and intrusive suicidal thoughts. I hasten to add the thoughts didn’t come with intention but nevertheless they were and still can be troubling.

I have learned over time to listen and watch these dreams/nightmares, as it was through such happenings I began to paint in 2017 while in treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The current dreams feature me walking alone on dark wet streets. I don’t see any people just cars driving by occasionally and their lights dazzling me, or reflecting on the wet roads and pavements.

In the early paintings of this series I recognised some of the places, you may too, although I have given them numbers rather than place names or titles so you can see the order they were painted in. The dreams catapulted me back to when I was a homeless teenager. I walked alone at night then as it wasn’t safe to sleep at night, so I walked like a ghost remaining as invisible as possible to stay safe.

I wondered why I was experiencing the dreams now so many years later and what had triggered the unwelcome thoughts?

The walking dreams are endless, I often wake before daylight arrives in them or I found myself in a dead end, unable to walk further.

I wondered if the dreams were a metaphor for my pain and how it felt endless while I waited for a hip replacement? However I have now had the surgery in April 2023 and am pain free but the dreams continue.

The intrusive thoughts continue too, there is no intention on my behalf but even so they are frustrating and cause a pain of another type. I am going to continue to paint the dreamscapes because when I immerse myself in them the intrusive thoughts don’t follow me. I am not sure what it all means yet but I will continue to paint what I am presented with by my subconscious until I unlock this puzzle.

Gail Curry

June 2023