the garden of dreams

The Art of Our Collective Dream

Open Call for Submissions

We are opening up a call for submissions for our Spring Volume ii: The Garden of Dreams.

We seek photographs, poems, paintings, short stories, collages, and multi-media art that are inspired by your dreams and portray their mysterious images/experiences. Our hope is to encourage our community (and ourselves) to track our dreams and create dream-inspired art. In the end we hope to weave a Garden of Dreams that compels our community forward to greater vision and belonging.

What We Mean by "Dreaming"

We define dreaming as an imaginative state that goes beyond conscious thought. In other words, dreaming is an image that simply presents itself. By this we concretely mean, first and foremost, those curious images/visions/experiences that come unconsciously at night-time; secondly, this could mean a thought/vision/image that spontaneously erupts when walking in the woods at dawn or when looking into the eyes of a lover or sitting in silence.

We are not talking about the ego-centric dreams society has fed us that perpetuate fantasy (i.e. unrealistic love, images of material / monetary attainment, the incessant focus on ambition and ‘career,’ etc.). Instead, we speak of dreams that cut to the deepest part of yourself. The type of dreaming that uncovers THE longing, the deepest one that is possible, the truest one.

Dreams are an integral part of what makes us human. They allow us to imagine new realities that can offer us love and community rather than hate & isolation. They can liberate us from oppressive structures (those outside of ourselves and those oppressive mental formulations that have been embedded into us). 

Our Invitation

This volume offers an invitation to you: to track your dreams over the next couple months (and hopefully beyond) and allow your conscious state to produce art. We imagine many of you will pull from past dreams, and even art you have made inspired by them. You do not have to create something totally new for this project, we encourage submissions of previous work around this topic.

If tending dreams is a new practice for you, this could look tangibly like:

  • First, begin tracking down your dreams as soon as you awake (a journal by the bed, notes app in your phone, etc.)
  • Go on a photo-making walk (in the city, by the river, etc.) with a dream in your mind
  • Attempt to create a scene with your camera reminiscent of a dream
  • Let a dream inspire a drawing / painting session
  • Draw an image / scene from a dream you have had
  • Make a ‘portrait’ (photographic, painting, etc.) of a dream figure
  • Write a poem about a dream you had
  • Let a dream inspire a poem
  • You could even simply write out a paragraph of a dream you have had.
  • To dream, in and of itself, is to be creative.
  • To dream is to make art.
  • The net is wide. This list is not exhaustive. Invent your own process.

Nota Bene Dreamers:

There is a tendency in our culture when we have / hear a dream to ask, “What does this mean?” We offer a more holistic approach: “How did this dream make me feel? What did it arouse within me? What are the conscious connections of the events / objects / people that appeared in the dreams?” To “understand” our dreams misses the point. To understand is to move beyond. We, instead, seek to follow the clues they offer, trusting that our investigative process is a reward in and of itself. That is why we’ve centered our invitation in the imaginative vessel of artistic creation.

This year’s Spring Volume will be a fecund Garden of Dreams. When we tend our collective dreaming, we tend the Earth’s dream. Dreams don’t offer solutions or futuristic fantasies, but a new source of meaning that can change the eyes with which we view ourselves and the world around us.