Sleep III (Progress)


A detailed photograph of a blue pin in a textile artwork about sleep by Megan Kennedy
A detailed photograph of a zig-zag stitch binding a textile artwork about sleep by Megan Kennedy

Similar to Sleep II, Sleep III is composed of black, white and natural-dyed cotton sheets, used polyester night garments and red and white cotton thread. But instead of creating independent structures and merging them together as a whole, I've been constructing III piece by piece, cutting, positioning, pinning and then sewing a single portion at a time. It's slower, but maintains a greater awareness for every section's placement in relation to the rest of the work.

A detailed photograph of a textile artwork about sleep by Megan Kennedy

OK. Story: I recently purchased a new machine and after a few uses, it began sewing in reverse. Instead of forming a selected stitch evenly on the obverse textile surface, the anchoring stitches would sometimes manifest on the upper side instead. Confused but interested, I decided to plot in reverse too, planning and pinning for what irregularities I could meet and studying the eventuation's I couldn't - all the time weighing the fact that these underside stitches usually go unseen, traditionally relegated to the back of a textile work. Shaped by a degree of chance and technological resilience, it was fortunate my machined stitches linked coherently at all.


After a few days of experimentation I did figure out the cause. Following loading, I had repeatedly missed threading the bobbin hook properly. After a rethread, the deviation was fixed. In the wake of my confused efforts lay sprawling tendrils pointing to a mechanized action undermined by my inept hand. But while I did consider uprooting the joins and starting again, I appreciated the evidence of a more personal, experiential mark making process. Dispersed within the movements of the machine, my own inexpert interventions coalesce with the roughly cut edges of cotton and polyester - the resulting marks manifesting as a response to the amalgam of process and (in)experience.


As I work, the accumulating textiles increasingly feel and move in the lumbering manor of sleep, a heavy yet malleable representation of time, action, mark making, process, physicality and materiality.

A detailed photograph of a textile artwork about sleep by Megan Kennedy
A detailed photograph of a textile artwork about sleep by Megan Kennedy
A detailed photograph of a textile artwork about sleep by Megan Kennedy