“I” – The Sleep Collection, 2012

The Sleep Collection seeks out the intimacy of a lover.

Photographing people in the liminal states around sleep, I am interested in exploring the moments when our conscious notion of who we are (our “I”-ness) drops away and ‘self’ is suspended.

The ambiguous camera angles free the subjects of the constraints of the bed they’re in, suspending them in a state of timeless innocence…Although compositionally similar, each image had an aesthetic beauty emphasised by subtle individualities. The sleeping self, that is to say ourselves at our most vulnerable, tends to be something belonging in the private sphere, a state only those closest to you would witness. Transferred to the public arena, we engage almost voyeuristically with the act of sleeping, and are for a moment gifted access to the private space of the individual. – The Mancunion

The Sleep Collection #1

In November 2012, the first sleeping work was created and exhibited in the gallery at Islington Mill, Salford. I installed a bed into the exhibition space and invited a different person to sleepover each night over 8 consecutive nights. I photographed them at 3 stages of their sleep: falling to sleep, sleeping and waking. As a nod toward our optimum hours of sleep, 8 photographic triptychs were created and exhibited, along with the bed, in the gallery space. The photographs were taken horizontally but then displayed vertically – imitating the traditionally seated portrait and, for the viewer, creating the illusion of lying in bed next to each sleeper.

The sleepover phase was open to the public, extending the intimacy of sleep into the public realm and exploring the gallery as a making space to bridge the gap between the process and the product.