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Descending Dreamscape

Aaleen Atif

This project explores the phenomena of dreaming and the processes related to it—in particular the moment where our conscious state meets the unconscious. The liminal space between dreams and reality is rife with creative energy, constantly in flux. The main takeaway of this project is to emphasise the experience of dreaming and how we can create an entirely new reality that is completely separate from the one we live in. The theoretical framework of the piece takes inspiration from the Aboriginal Australian Dreaming, which is more of a concept that unites human life with natural species such as the land, sky and water, inclusive of the energy that resides within them. Dreaming, for them, belongs to an area that goes beyond the physical plane. The act of dreaming and its contents are for everyone to experience, but the meaning behind them may remain concealed.

However, despite dreams being a shared experience and the great strides taken to understand them, they remain elusive. Nevertheless, dreams still provide an otherworldly window into ourselves. They can prove to be essential in the quest to understand the true self.

Curated for the website by Afshan Shafi.


Aaleen Atif is an artist specialising in illustration and animation. Based in Lahore, the historic, cultural, and aesthetic centre of the Subcontinent, her work is informed by the detail-oriented play of miniature paintings which subvert conventional perspective, as well as contemporary graphic designers, such as Nabi H Ali and Nalini Malani. Honing her skills at BNU, she graduated with high merit, and has been awarded a distinction for her thesis animation piece. Her pieces speak to, and deeply consider, the internal landscape, unspoken and unheard, of feminine figures and their lived experiences. Her art delves into the subconscious mind and a spirituality inspired by the divine feminine, reminiscent of works by other prominent female artists such as Frida Kahlo, Ritika Merchant, and Daria Hlazatova. Her artistic space and online persona (@faridakhala) demonstrate a boldly confrontational and ultimately humanist idealism, which manifests in the multicultural influences that inform her deeply personal expression. She hopes to further refine her craft through consistent experimental projects, as well as a dedicated exploration of marginal artists across time and space.


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