all of the buildings, all of those cars
were once just a dream
in somebody’s head
dreaming of mercy st.
wear your inside out
dreaming of mercy
In my frequent work trips to Bootle, Widnes and now Warrington, I feel I make more than my fair contribution to the 35 million journeys that take place annually along this stretch of the M62. As I do so I often muse about the large luminous visage that peers down upon the traffic speeding past here on Merseyside and I’ve dreamt of the photographic opportunities that it presents.
Imagine my disbelief then, when having arrived for my first night in Warrington, I read a post from my fellow blogger Debra who posted her image of the sculpture on Vladography this week.
Expressing that disbelief to her she of course pointed out to me that there are many other angles on the subject, and so on finishing my work the following afternoon I determined to waste no more timing in unleashing my Canon upon the artwork. remarkably as I started my car, a drama called North of Riga on Radio 4 was telling the story of a mysterious stranger called the King of Winter who cuts a girl’s hair to steal her dreams.
Intentionally or not, Eoin McNamee‘s character, with his long black hair, immediately brought to mind the protagonist of Neil Gaiman‘s Sandman series. This character Morpheus, is also known as Dream; a name shared by the tall, white voyeur atop the hill in St Helens.
Jaume Plensa‘s Dream is the North West’s answer to the Angel of North, and is equal in height, though to my mind less impressive when viewed from the roadside. I’ve always seen the elongated head as androgynous from this aspect, but when you make the effort to climb that hill and meet her face to face she has just as much impact as her rusty cousin, in fact I found her slender beauty completely captivating. Like the Angel, she stands on a site that was once better known for the dirty and deadly industry of mining, the faces of the men who worked here a stark contrast with the self-cleaning white concrete of the disembodied head. Her pallor reminds me of the “engineers” of Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus, a film in which an arrogant and jealous android “reads” the dreams of a woman who is in stasis for an interstellar journey. (The film also features a large disembodied head; both in reality and as a statue!) Our fascination with dreams will continue long into the future it seems. Funny things dreams.
The beauty of a dream is you don’t let it go,
You don’t ever let it go.
Once in a while a girl comes along
And opens your heart like a spam tin
Just how long can it take?
A bow bends, a bow breaks
And then when it’s time to return the key
She’ll flash you a smile as she slams the door
But you didn’t have to do that to me
To show me just how cruel love could be
And cruel’s a show I kinda starred in before.