I Feel a Foot Smaller & David Bowie’s Sinew

David Bowie had written all is not well at home

Nuala Clarke: 

I heard, “I feel a foot smaller.”

I was swimming across oceans, sometimes between England and Ireland.

Someone swam with me.

(I was aware that the bigger swim was to come later—it didn’t happen within the dream.)

It wasn’t any real effort to be in the ocean but there were lots of large liners in the way.

There were tourist children with me and I was telling them about the big swim to come. For some reason, the little boy didn’t want to believe that I was swimming.

Then we reached a terminus with several different kinds of boats.

We, the children and myself, got out of the sea. I was quite well dressed, in a formal swimming costume. The costume was suitable as land clothes and none of it was wet.

We were in a tourist area where the boats departed.

A family and S were there.

I went to copy all the notes that I had in my pocket in a machine that was both an ATM and a copy machine. It made double-sided copies. It felt like a waste of time because all I was getting out of the copier was more paper. What was I going to do with that?

The ocean and the children were next to me.

Then I had a piece of paper on which David Bowie had written all is not well at home and a picture of somebody I knew intimately. He did not look well. When I copied the picture the entire works of the copier machine gunked up with sinew and muscle and flesh; long strands of reddish meat in all the cogs and moving parts.

(I was speaking to the boys’ dad about \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\.)

I had to remove the sinew from the copier before anyone else tried to use it. I was pulling long strands of fleshiness out of the works of the machine.

[Response from Sokuzan:  You seemed smaller to me, too, but I thought it was because I was bending over and looking up at you from a crooked neck. Also, feeling smaller is not really smaller. It’s a feeling. As for the paper production, though useless and wet, it should not be a problem. Look! Just fasten your gaze out there: toward wellness, towards the sea’s shining flesh.]

Crystal Gandrud:

[I had this dream after Nuala mentioned that she’d had a dream about David Bowie and sinew.]

Ziggy Stardust was stuck in the eye of the needle. I needed to get him into my veins but the sinew and muscle kept bunging up the needle shaft and blocking the lumens. He remained trapped and swirling like a double helix in the glass barrel. I tapped at him to see if I could make the needle work, but my attempts were frustrated by the bulk of his body.





Dream of the Drawing for Everything alchemies dream-like things: images and texts and films and sketches and philosophy and half-thoughts and visions and moments and fragments of all kinds. Resting and exploring here may deepen your relationship with the oneiric and, therefore, all apparent reality. Resting and exploring here may augment your psyche’s healing tendency—as Jung called it—through highlighting and delighting in humanity’s hallucinatory creations. (Without them, after all, neurologists assure us we would go starkers.) It is time there was a potentially infinite, intimate museum to what cannot be seen. Welcome to the museum.

Dream of the Drawing for Everything is some of the collaboration between artist Nuala Clarke & writer Crystal Gandrud. Our work arises out of what dances on the edges of perception and our collective attention gravitates to the dream-like nature of human experience. We have been in collaboration since 2010. Our merged practices of visual and textual art unfold on a continuum, as part of an interconnected series evolving over time. Both performed “Fair Shouldered One” (a book which is not a book) at the &Now Literary Festival in Paris, 2012 and installed “Between Spaces”, a Yeats inspired dreamscape at the Hamilton Gallery, Sligo, 2013. Most recently participated in the Find Arts Project in Castlebar, Ireland. Our public art installation of words and images printed on linen, “Woven Found”, hung on Castle Street. The project won the best commissioning practice award from Allianz Business to Arts, 2014.

Nuala Clarke

Nuala Clarke, visual artist, lives and works between Co. Mayo and New York City. Educated at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, she moved to New York City in 1993. In September 2007, she received a fellowship to the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Mayo and began returning to Ireland from NY to work every year. Clarke has been represented by Boltax Gallery, NY since 2005. Recent shows include, Amid a Space Between: Irish Artists in America at the SFMoMa Artists Gallery, San Francisco, (2012); to Tremble into Stillness, a WB Yeats related show at Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; RHA invited artist; and A drawing for Everything, Ballinglen Arts Foundation (2013). BLINK, a public art installation at the Westport Arts Festival, Co. Mayo (2014). Upcoming shows (2015): Impressions of Yeats, Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; Of this place, Sligo and Madrid.


Crystal Gandrud

Crystal Gandrud, writer, lives in New York City and Normandy, France. She holds an MFA, Creative Writing and a BFA, Classical Theatre. Recent publications include “Yeatsian: Numberless Dreamers,” The Encyclopedia Project, 2014, “Here,” Lost Magazine, and “Idiom: Woodbird Flies Early,” The Encyclopedia Project. Her dissertation, “Murdoch: the Mandala Maker,” was presented at Kingston University’s Iris Murdoch Conference (2006), London. At the most recent Murdoch Conference, she performed a multi-media excerpt from a work-in-progress entitled “The Forgotten Man,” inspired by Murdoch’s philosophical writings. She is under contract for a memoire entitled “Astonishment: A Litany of the Uncanny.”


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