Things We Do in Bed

Things We Do in Bed is the saucy title for a show that could be presumed to be anything but, focussing on the perhaps not so sexy subject of quilts.

Sue Watters, Unchained Melody

Source: © Becky Knight

Sue Watters, Unchained Melody

However, as the show proves, there’s a lot to be said for the cosy little numbers, drawing together pieces from the likes of Grayson Perry, Sara Impey, Karina Thompson and Michele Walker and others.

Grayson Perry, Right to Life, 1998 detail

Source: Courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro, London © Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry, Right to Life, 1998 detail

The show spans five bedrooms in Kent’s imposing Georgian mansion Danson House.

The American Museum, Bath, Darts of Death

Source: Courtesy The American Museum, Bath

The American Museum, Bath, Darts of Death

Curated by author and quilt-fan Tracy Chevalier, the exhibition is arranged in an interesting, if slightly bizarre way, with each room focussing on what the show organisers describe as a ‘different bed activity’: birth, sleep, sex, illness, death.

Michele Walker on loan from Victoria and Albert Museum, Memoriam 1

Source: Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum, London © Michele Walker

Michele Walker on loan from Victoria and Albert Museum, Memoriam 1

Whatever the rationale, however, there’s certainly some beautiful work on show, ranging from 18th and 19th century quilts to contemporary works from Perry et al.

Jen Jones, Tree of Life

Source: © Jen Jones

Jen Jones, Tree of Life

Chevalier 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.’

Becky Knight, Depressions

Source: © Becky Knight

Becky Knight, Depressions

Things We Do in Bed runs from 1 April – 31 October at Danson House, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6

Sara Impey, Timelines

Source: © Sara Impey

Sara Impey, Timelines

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