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When We Dream

21. October 2019

When We Dream

21. October 2019 Katharina

Hello, good to see you. Today we will take a closer look at three photographs by Suzanne Jongmans. And our topic is ‘dreams’.

Meeting Point

Did you dream something last night? And if yes, do you remember how you felt during your dream? I seldom remember my dreams. However, it happens sometimes. Then, I remember first of all how I felt during the dream – sad, scared or happy.

Transcendence, Kindred Spirits, Suzanne Jongmans

To our dreams belong persons and events as well as our feelings. How do we feel while we dream and when we wake up. Let us look at Suzanne Jongmans’ photographs and discover what they tell us about dreams. The following questions can guide us:

  1. What do we see?
  2. Can we picture a dream?
  3. Which emotions do we see in the photographs?

What do we see?

In ‘Our Kingdom’ we encounter a young girl. Her eyes are nearly closed. Is she about to fall asleep? She wears a brown coat. It appears as if it is covered with snow. Looking closer at it, we acknowledge that this snow could be made out of white cotton wool.

Also the coat of the girl in the next photograph is covered by the white cotton whool. However, the girl in ‘You are here’ is older. And there is much more cotton wool scattered on the shoulder parts of her coat. Like soft cushions. But like the younger girl, this older one has also closed her eyes.

Transcendence, Kindred Spirits, Suzanne Jongmans

While the two girls in the former photographs appear to sit, the woman in the picture ‘Transcendence’ is lying down. She has closed her eyes and wears a light pink nightdress. White cotton whool covers nearly her whole body. It is like a blanket warming her. We have no doubt here, the woman is sleeping and far away from us.

Can we picture a dream?

When you dream, do you perceive the people and events sharp or blurred? I see them rather blurred. In my dreams I then try to focus on them, but I seldom succeed. Thus, it would be difficult for me to draw what I dreamt of.

What about the women in Suzanne Jongmans’ photographs, do they dream and if yes, do we see them together with their dreams? At first glance, we might answer that we mainly encounter calm and sleeping women. And that they are covered by white cotton wool. But wait, what if the cotton wool stands for their dreams? The cotton wool covers the women in a similar way just like dreams cover us when we sleep.

The three women in the photographs all belong to various stages in life – childhood, youth and adulthood. During life we dream, some dreams repeat themselves. We cannot see what the women are dreaming of. But if we say that the white cotton wool covering them symbolises their dreams, we know that they dream.

Which emotions do we see in the photographs?

Although the women have closed their eyes, their facial expressions vary. The young girl in ‘Our Kingdom’ shows no emotions at all. She appears grave. Cotton wool covers some parts of her. Whatever she is thinking or dreaming about, it causes no great emotions in her. Maybe it rather gives her food for thought.

It is different with the older girl in ‘You are here’. There is more cotton wool scattered over her, more dreams for her. However, she smiles. She dreams of something pleasant. Or maybe she has learnt to to deal with her dreams. She surrenders more to them.

Devotion is something we also find in the photograph ‘Transcendence’. Calmness, this expresses the woman’s face. Also the way her hand is lying besides her, shows us, she devotes herself to the dream. There is nothing that unsettles her. Maybe her dream takes her to a far place where she prefers to stay for a while.

Transcendence, Kindred Spirits, Suzanne Jongmans

In a former post about the art works by Antonio Mora we have talked about a ‘dream journey’. Because his women’s Portraits take us to places the women could be dreaming About. In the works by Suzanne Jongmans, we see no places but dreamers and their emotions. We can find ourselves in the young girl, the teenager and the woman. Depending upon how much ‘dream-snow’ covers us, we feel happy or only deeply calm. Might we continue to dream and meet dreamers in art.


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