Movement in Sleep installation in Union Chapel

While art-plus-bed currently equals Tracey Emin, Sarah Strang’s Movement in Sleep installation opening this week in London’s Union Chapel may go some way to severing that connection.

As part of the Union Chapel’s three-part series of installations from its current artist in residence Sarah Strang, Movement in Sleep is created around a wrought-iron bed.

Housed in the chapel’s usually-hidden tower space, the bed is stripped of furnishings and accoutrements, centred beneath four large quilts draped over a cross-shaped section of wooden rafters above.

Sarah Strang, Movement in Sleep

Source: Photo Credit Daniela Sbrisny. Courtesy the artist

Sarah Strang, Movement in Sleep

In a response to London’s homeless population, bedding from those sleeping on the streets was exchanged for new blankets. Strang took the old ones and sewed them together to create swathes of hanging fabric descending from the tower in place of the more traditional church bells.

Sarah Strang, Movement in Sleep

Source: Photo Credit Daniela Sbrisny. Courtesy the artist

Sarah Strang, Movement in Sleep

The idea is that while exposing the bedding of those sleeping rough, the curtain effect from the fabric also acts as a barrier to the outside world, making it at once a voyeuristic piece, but also an intimate one that questions the ideas of the public and the private.

Strang says, ‘The work both questions and exposes conflicting ideological juxtapositions within an ever changing society. The way in which communities engage, belief systems operate and how we consider and develop notions of good and bad, progress and decline, success and failure is a chaotic narrative that often merges the role of collaborator, viewer and participant.’

Sarah Strang, Movement in Sleep runs from 27 November  – 18 February 2012 at

Union Chapel Tower, Compton Terrace, London N1

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