Exhibition | Things We Do in Bed

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 9, 2014

From the exhibition description at Art Daily:

Things We Do in Bed
Danson House, Bexleyheath, Kent, 1 April — 31 October 2014

Curated by Tracy Chevalier

Jen Jones, Welsh Quilt Centre Tree of Life (cropped, detail), c.1810

Tree of Life Quilt cropped, detail, c.1810 (Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre)

Things We Do in Bed celebrates quilts and their continuing links to what goes on behind the bedroom door. Featuring quilts and quilt works dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, alongside contemporary work, the exhibition is displayed through the five bedrooms in Danson House, with each room focusing on a different bed activity: Birth, Sleep, Sex, Illness, Death.

The exhibition features a lively mix of antique and contemporary quilts including:
• intricate 18th- and 19th-century cot quilts with quilted feathers and flowers and colourful patchwork designs
• a new ‘sleep quilt’ from Fine Cell Work, a charity that teaches prisoners to sew; prisoners all over the UK were asked to make squares exploring their feelings about sleep, and join them together in this quilt
• Karina Thompson’s quilt which captures an echocardiogram examining the maker’s heartbeats
• Grayson Perry’s Right to Life quilt, made as a provocative response to the abortion debate in the USA
danson• Sue Watters’ hand stitched quilt, Unchained Melody which she made sitting by her husband’s side while he was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, with sewing and music as her solace

Tracy Chevalier is an internationally bestselling author of seven novels. In her most recent book, The Last Runaway, her heroine is a quilter. As well as learning a lot about quilts, Tracy learned to quilt by hand. As she says: “Since researching quilts for my last novel, I have fallen hard for the varied and miraculous artistry of quilting. With this show I explore how quilting relates to bedroom activities, in both practical and abstract ways. For traditionalists, there are jaw-dropping examples of antique quilt-making. For contemporary art lovers, there are works that push boundaries and emotions.”

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Hannah Duguid writes about the exhibition for The Independent (8 April 2014).

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