Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Unmade Bed

World of Interiors, June cover photo, Ricardo Labougie

When we were growing up, we were taught always to make your bed in the morning. My Mom would say if you were not able to get anything else done in the day, make your bed, it will always feel tidy and organized.

I have been aware over the last few years, the unmade bed is shown in magazines, across blogs and in advertising catalogues. Photographers and stylists have left beds unmade, messy and pillows rumpled. Each photo shows a bed evocative of a long Sunday morning with coffee and the New York Times or the tender moments of reading stories to your little ones and most pleasurable, shared intimacy with your lover.

In photos for portfolios, magazines and advertising, the bed used to be smooth as a board, with a neat stack of elegant pillows. I was thinking of where the ideas of messing up the bed came from and remembered Tracey Emin exhibited her bed at the Tate Gallery for the nomination of the Turner Prize in 1999.

Tracy's bed tells a different story, one of profound sadness with the mess around the bed of refuse of personal matters, it speaks of the inability to care for oneself or others after relationships fall apart.

I always thought Tracey should have written the story and let our imagination fill in the sordidness, but now the materiality of it is an interesting contrast to the sumptuous and dreamy beds that are used to awaken our feelings of intimacy.

  A beautiful bed painting by Maggie Sinner

I still make my bed everyday, I like to pull the covers back and get in between clean sheets each night.

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