Banksy, while at Bristol University. His tutors included Professor McGonagall, Dumbledore (still played by Richard Harris) and Hagrid. Dumbledore gave him a kind of glowing, opalescent statuette which he was not to tell anyone about, “especially Minerva XX XX McGonagall” (the dream script gave her two extra middle names).
In his black hoodie and combat trousers, Banksy would climb up the outside of buildings at night. He seemed to be fixing things – unsafe, crumbling or leaking structures – without wanting the work to be attributed to him. Maybe he just thought he’d get round to the jobs quicker than the university or city authorities would.
I often have semi-lucid dreams in which I seem to be reading a story that I’ve written; seeing a film based on my screenplay; or watching a story unfold and wondering how I’ll go about turning it into a novel. In this case, Banksy was narrating the story, and I could hear his voice, deep and distorted as it is in Exit Through the Gift Shop. As he told me his memories, I was simultaneously / alternately watching them as an outsider, and having a discussion with him about how, together, we would write the book.
Banksy told me about a long-standing Bristolian legend, that somewhere in the city is hidden an ancient relic that would give the finder magic powers. Many speculate but few know what the relic looks like or how to recognise it.
Did Banksy ever see the relic – or any evidence that it existed – during his nighttime climbs? “Yeah, I found it alright,” he said. “I put it back.”
So, this dream features a narrative device that my subconscious often uses – watching a scene unfold only to discover that I’m writing it – and the fascination / frustration of waiting to see what my imagination will give me next, while still feeling I have limited or no control over the process. (“Murder, she watched” was another example of this.)
But since famous people, characters and locations are involved here, I’d love to know your thoughts too. What associations do any of these hold for you?
- Graffiti and / or street art
- Bristol University in particular
- Universities in general
- The Harry Potter books and / or films in general
- Dumbledore, Hagrid or McGonegall in particular
And how about these motifs?
- A gift of something possibly magical, but secret
- Secret names or ones that very few people know someone by
- Old buildings in need of repair
- A quest to find a legendary, missing relic
- The juxtaposition of ancient and modern (or postmodern), establishment and subversiveness, global fame and local knowledge, anonymity and instant recognisability
…Or any other themes, motifs or metaphors that jump out at you?
Please feel free to comment below or send me a message; let me know what this dream content might mean for you – and of course if you’ve had any similar dreams of your own.
‘Til next time…!