On Changing, Dreaming and Making

‘Mrs Pontellier was not a woman given to confidences, a characteristic hitherto contrary to her nature. Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself. At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively that dual life- the outward existence that conforms, the inward life which questions.’

Kate Chopin, The Awakening 1899

Rosie Dahlstrom: ‘Sertraline Dreams’ sketchbook page, 2018

Hello reader. Thank you for reading my first post on my first blog. I hope you enjoy the ravings of my psyche in the future too.

I’ll start with a little about me: my name is Rosie and I’m 25 years old. I’m a queer femme artist and writer from Glasgow, alumni of the Glasgow School of Art and enthusiastic oil painter and collage-maker. I enjoy drawing and sticking things in my sketchbook, taking photos of my friends in exciting poses, looking at pictures of beautiful objects, reading about Greek mythology and watching films that vary widely but usually include ones by Disney and John Waters. I’m also really into anything to do with vampires.

I have been making art for several years, but as a result of some upheaval in my life I’ve decided to start writing about my thoughts and experiences as a way of documenting this interesting journey I’m currently embarking on. To explain briefly: all my life I’ve lived in Glasgow, or not far from Glasgow, and have always been lucky enough to have a strong group of old friends and family who look out for me no matter what. However, I’ve made the decision to leave my comfy Shawlands life and move to London, and I’m now studying a Masters in Fine Art which is very exciting (almost too exciting). Leaving home and moving to a new city is an experience many people, especially my generation, will know very well, and I want to make the best use of this time possible. In my brain, the best way of using time is to be making something, anything really; so my plan is to be writing something in the moments when I’m not painting or talking or sculpting or sewing or drawing. I also expect to have to sleep and eat, and I won’t give up my Disney habit, but I’m hoping that when this Masters is finished and done with, I’ll have an interesting archive of thoughts to look back on and maybe revisit.

The subject of change is something I imagine I’ll come back to discussing in many posts of the future, but this year of 2018 is a year where I feel my identity has stopped changing and started to finally crystallise, but also is a year where I have undergone many personal transformations. I’m hoping you understanding this situation will give added seasoning to my writings, as I believe that the viewer/reader requires a fuller context to a piece of art or writing in order to connect with it. I know I do. And creating connections between minds is an important reason why art exists.

I’ve called my blog ‘Sertraline Dreams’ after a page in my sketchbook where I wrote those words above a list of the very vivid dream-moments I’ve experienced as a side-effect since I started taking anti-depressants early this year. While I have always been an active dreamer, the physical, tangible sensations of these new dreams totally enthralled me; whether the moment was pleasant like walking barefoot through a clear green lagoon, or unpleasant like have flies caught in my hair. I could feel these things with my whole body; it was strangely invigorating. So I wanted to reference this idea of a new sensation, a new change and feeling, which has come about as a part of all the other changes that have happened to me this year; but a change that has been sensual, visceral, unexpected and strangely sweet despite a negative origin. Also it has a nice, musical ring to it.

I hope these ideas of transformation, sensuality and vulnerability continue through my future posts, and you come on this journey with me. It will be a journey consisting of me sitting in bed typing about sexy women or vampires or stupid dreams, but I hope you’ll find something tasty to enjoy about the results none the less. I’ll try and put in as many pictures as possible.

Till next time,


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