In sleep it made itself present to them (2021) is an immersive installation that explores what it might mean to dream together. Composed of sculptural objects and a sound work, this environment creates a dreamscape of ritual sites, moments of rupture and social dreaming. The work is conceived as a stage set; centring sculptural objects, colour and sound, and suffused with theatrical light to create a sense of the breaking dawn; a period of transition; a time for renewal.
Modular pillars reference the ancient site of Persepolis in modern day Iran, serving as seating and plinths for stylised props that draw from archival research around artefacts, folklore and family histories. Persepolis was ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, and while the function of the site is contested, it is probable that it was built as a ceremonial complex to celebrate the spring equinox: the dawn of a new season.
In sleep it made itself present to them was commissioned and exhibited as part of Collective Gallery’s Satellites Programme as a solo exhibition at Collective Gallery, Edinburgh in 2021, and was shown again in 2022 as part of group show The Age of the Dreamers is Over at Grand Union Gallery, Birmingham.

Working collaboratively with sound artist Claude Nouk, the audio work reconstructs fragments of a conversation with my mother Hamideh Heydari-Waite, a psychotherapist. Our discussion loops around practices of social dreaming. In contrast to Western culture, where psychoanalysis’s dominance has rendered dreams as almost solely reflecting an individual’s inner life, many cultures incorporate dreams into the fabric of their waking realities, recognising their potential for communal revelation. ‘In sleep it made itself present to them’ is a translation of the Farsi phrase ‘tou khaab behesh zaher shod’ referenced in the sound piece, referring to collective revelatory aspects of dreaming in some Muslim and Zorastrian cultures.