Untitled (Sleep II)




A textile artwork by Megan Kennedy hangs from a pine tree

Shaped, wrinkled, stretched and worn by the weight of our innate actions in slumber, there is a discernibly physical exchange between materiality and rest. But for those that cannot attain rest due to chronic illness and disability, sheets and night-clothing can also represent a dichotomy of comfort, expectation and hope undermined by ceaselessly unrestful sleep.

Cut, rearranged and reassembled, Untitled (Sleep II) is a study of the materials we surround our sleeping selves with. The violent separation and reconciliation of slept-in bedding explores the quality of the fibres that harbour the needs and desires contradicted by chronic illness and disability.

Details of a textile artwork representing the materiality of sleep and chronic illness by Megan Kennedy
Details of a fibre artwork representing the materiality of sleep and chronic illness by Megan Kennedy
Details of a textile artwork representing the materiality of sleep and chronic illness by Megan Kennedy

Like sheets, sleep-garments can also be associated with rituals anticipating a restful sleep. Textured with silvery ovate patterning and lace edgings, the inclusion of a severed, sweat-stained polyester negligée imbued with the expectations and experiences of its wearers points to a history of evolving technology, trade and the perceived conventions of femininity and rest.

Details of red thread and coffee-dyed fabric in a textile collage representing the materiality of sleep and chronic illness by Megan Kennedy
Details of red thread and an old nightgown in a textile collage representing the materiality of sleep and chronic illness by Megan Kennedy
textiles as a response to disability by Megan Kennedy