Things We Do in Bed is a new exhibition celebrating the historic and contemporary art of quilting. Curated by bestselling novelist Tracy Chevalier (author of Girl with a Pearl Earring), Things We Do in Bed opened at Danson House
, Bexleyheath on 1 April and runs until 31 October 2014.
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 19thcenturies, 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 Thompsons quilt which captures an echocardiogram examining the makers heartbeats
Grayson Perrys Right to Life quilt, made as a provocative response to the abortion debate in the USA
Sue Watters hand stitched quilt, Unchained Melody which she made sitting by her husbands side while he was in the final stages of Alzheimers, and sewing and music were her solace
Guest curator 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.
On Wednesday 2 April, at 11am Tracy Chevalier discusses the exhibition at Danson House. Tickets cost £12 and must be booked in advance due to limited availability; to book call 01322 621 238.
Visitors to the exhibition also have the opportunity to win a hand quilted cushion designed and made by Tracy Chevalier - raffle tickets will be available at Danson House.