• Rebecca Sexton Larson

The Bed as Muse

My current body of work illustrates my ongoing struggle with insomnia and sleeplessness. My restless battles are digitally illustrated during early morning periods of wakefulness. Some locations and elements in my images are real; others do not have a tangible existence. Timeworn beds are a recurring motif in the images, composed of personal files, props, and archival photographs that I place outdoors, in natural settings, or inside abandoned spaces.

Not surprisingly, the bed has been a common theme in many artist's work throughout art history. Used to portray security, intimacy and an occasion political fight, the bed figures prominently in most people's lives.

By a Sick Bed by artist Michael Ancher, 1879

Wikimedia Commons

In 2015, Mario Codognato curated the exhibition, Sleepless – The Bed in History and Contemporary Art, focusing on the bed as the central subject. According to Codognato,

"“The bed is one of the most important objects in everyone’s life and the most reproduced object in art history. “It’s where people are born, are conceived, where they go when they’re ill, where – unless they have a violent death – most will be when they die. Some of most crucial moments in life happen in the bed. For that reason, artists have used it throughout history – in diverse ways.”

'Sleep Studies' (tentative title for series) places emphasis on my sleep struggles, dreams and nightmares. But looking back at my previous work one might say that the insomnia issue as made several appearances throughout the years.

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