Untitled (Sleep II)



Textile artwork representing the materiality of sleep and chronic illness by Megan Kennedy

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.

Textile artwork representing the materiality of sleep and chronic illness by Megan Kennedy
Textile artwork representing the materiality of sleep and chronic illness by Megan Kennedy

Cut, rearranged and reassembled, Untitled (Sleep II) is a holistic 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