Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire – self portraitThe most intense nightmare

Abstract painting | Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire - self portrait
I believe in trying to turn a negative into a positive. I will never forget waking from my first vivid nightmare. It was so real I burst into tears. Later that day I started on this painting.
I have described the dream further down but I know what it means, and who my tormenters are.
Imagine waking up and your first realisation is you are unable to rise, you look around; and you realise you are on a railway track and there is an enormous train a second away from hiting you. That level of fear is intense. That’s the only way I can try and communicate the sheer intensity of fear and horror I felt upon waking from this nightmare.
The dream wasn’t about a train, I only use that to explain just how intense it was.
Dimensions: 90x60cm.
Painted: 2019.
Materials: Acrylic on MDF board.
Availability: For sale $5000.

The story behind Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire – self portrait

The building was made from many old railway carriages which had been joined together to form a maze-like construction. There were numerous rooms left and right of the single passageway. I was there because I could hear my elderly father calling out for me, and I was getting increasingly frantic trying to find which room the sad cries for help were coming from.

A series of powerful arms grabbed me from behind, and a violent struggle ensued. I was dragged out into the dark outdoors and thrown to the ground. A small group of people was circling me – there was an angry old crone, a drunk and vile thug, a man in a blue suit, and a beautiful woman wearing a yellow dress. They cursed, swore and spat before taking turns in punching and kicking me in an ever-increasingly frenzied attack. Knives appeared and were thrust into my body. I cried out, “what have I done to hurt you!”

There were no answers, just more frenzied violent attacks. The drunk thug jumped on top of me and started to strangle my throat with a powerful set of hands. I struggled to stay conscious. I knew I had to try to survive because, throughout this vicious attack, I could still hear the faint cries of my father calling for help. But as the attack continued, a crowd of onlookers gathered, many of whom were mocking and laughing, cheering on the attack.

The thug leaped back onto his feet and stepped back, and the beatings and stabbings from the others stopped. The four attackers stepped back. They were now strangely silent. For a moment, I felt relieved – thinking that they had emptied their rage and would leave me be. This was not the case. The old crone poured petrol over me and lit a match which she threw onto my prone body. I burst into flames and screamed as I started to melt literally.

I sat up in bed and soon realized I had experienced something beyond a nightmare. There were no physical signs upon waking – I hadn’t broken out in a sweat or even had a rapid heartbeat. Fully awake what lingered was the most intense feeling of fear and horror. The worst bit was I knew who the people were and that there was nothing to be done to help my recently deceased father. I also knew that I was truly alone and afraid.

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Wall mockup view of abstract painting – Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire – self portrait

Abstract painting | Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire - self portrait | Wall mockup

Detail views of abstract painting – Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire – self portrait

Abstract painting | Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire - self portrait | Detail 1
Abstract painting | Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire - self portrait | Detail 2
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Abstract painting | Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire - self portrait | Detail 5
Abstract painting | Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire - self portrait | Detail 6
Abstract painting | Bashed stabbed strangled and set on fire - self portrait | Detail 7

I am Bert Ernie.
I paint beauty and madness.