The clarity of memories are washed by years of forgetting, until all that is left are the mottled remains of imagery which linger in the temporal lobe.

The ability of memoires to change and to metamorphose hinge on their inability to be real. We recall events from our past, telling stories about who we used to be or what we wished we could have been. Events are often exaggerated, toned down or changed entirely. We begin to create a personal mythology about our past. This metamorphosis of events is what we call storytelling, it is the way in which we communicate fear, happiness, shame, love and all human experience.

Creating my own mythology and building a narrative around that mythology has become an important part of my practice. This started with an intense interest in all things childhood, and interest which continues. Towards the beginning of the MFA course I was employed in a nursery school and was living, as a property guardian, within an old nursery school. This impregnated my mind and body with all things childhood, ‘What are little boys made of?’ became a sort of mantra for me. I used it as a title for many of my works. This exploration of childhood was at once exciting and troubling and this was reflected in the work I was producing, I think there was an unease about my work at this time, which was noticed by others during group crits and tutorials. 

The idea of the reverie became of interest to me after reading Gaston Bachelard’s The Poets Of Reverie, childhood, Language and the Cosmos. I was particularly interested in the chapter Reveries toward childhood, in it Bachelard explores the possibilities of the childhood reverie as a boundless site of exploration which if accessed can give light to a kind of poetico-analysis. Within my work this takes the form of narratives and poems which delve into my own reveries as a child and as an adult, they position themselves within a liminal space of dreaming, history and legend/mythology. They are at once truth and fantasy.  

In this reverie-Text, Benjamin Martin 2017

In this reverie

There is sunshine pouring through branches

And a boy waiting in the hide

Subdued with the smell of farmland


In this reverie

There is a slow passage of time

And a boy playing at being a man

Passive with sweaty palms


In this reverie

There is an air riffle sat neatly between thighs

And a boy with his gaze fixed, no not fixed

Calmed with the call of a calf to its mother


In this reverie

There is an apple ready for eating

And a boy poised to leap

Anxious with noises from the woods behind


In this reverie

There is a breeze that flickers the leaves in the spinney

And a boy resting his back against an oak

Placated with the sound of the farm at work


In this reverie

There is a rabbit that bounces across the foreground

And a boy whose heart flickers with delight

Soothed with little clouds that remove the heat



In this reverie

There is a handful of steel bullets nested in a pocket

And a boy who watches for signs of life

Apprehensive with the smell of a distant fire


In this reverie

There is a flock of pigeons that pass in the background

And a boy who wishes he had moved his spot

Tentative with twitching sparrows who confuse the gaze


In this reverie

There is a distant voice calling

And a boy who remembers himself

Eager to please with dirty finger nails


In this reverie

There is a quickening of time

And a boy whose heart begins to race

Traversed with a black bird swinging on its axis


In this reverie

There is weapon shunted between a child’s hands

And a boy whose gaze is fixed, yes fixed

Soothed with the sensation of air


In this reverie

There is an apple bitten

And a boy salivating

Nervous with the scent of rotting earth


In this reverie

There is a black bird perched upon the branch

And a boy frozen in time

Patient with heads hanging


In this reverie

There is a barrel of metal pointed

And a boy sharpened by his senses

Frightful with the event of death approaching


In this reverie

There is one shot taken

And a boy who has encroached upon another life

Mindful with eyes lowered


In this reverie

There is a silence that ripples through

And a boy winded

Hushed with morbid energy



In this reverie

There is a body strewn on a grassy bed

And a boy in awe of his tranquillity

Enthused with shaking limbs


In this reverie

There is a shift in the body

And a boy whose mind is altered

Transfigured with the ability to be renewed 

What are little boys made of?- Performance, Benjamin Martin, 2017

Exploration of Nijinsky/Mythology 

Synapses Burst- Painting, Benjamin Martin, 2017

In This reverie- Animation, Benjamin Martin, 2017
In This reverie- Ink on paper, Benjamin Martin, 2017