Monday, 18 March 2013

#Beddingout: Lost Life? Busy Bed!

Artist Liz Crow is currently performing "Bedding Out". During this she takes to a bed in a gallery for 3 days to show the hidden side of disability which no one usually ever sees. It is a reaction to the current welfare rhetoric.

As part of this she organised a photo competition  #beddingout for fellow disabled people who are also house or bedbound depicting their bed and what it means to them.

This really got me thinking. I'm not a particularly good photographer, but I went ahead anyway and made the following arrangement and photo. It was more for my own benefit and pleasure than anything else and I don't intend to submit it. For one thing it is rather personal and needs a bit of explaining, which rather defeats the purpose!

As many of you may know, after 6 months stuck in my bedroom I replaced the sofa in my lounge with a daybed. This has proved to be one of the best decisions ever made and completely changed my life. My lounge is big and bright and a lovely place to spend time in.

I took the photo on a sunny day with the light streaming through the large windows onto my daybed. Most of my friends and guests don't get to see my lounge during the day, so this is a chance for you to see what I enjoy while you're not here!

I've given my photo a title (click to enlarge):

Lost Life? Busy Bed!

Many of you who know me will understand what I mean.

The left hand side of the bed shows what most people see when they think of my life: a life lost, in darkness where the wheelchair and the wolf (illness, lupus) lurk.

The right hand side of the bed is a mess! It is supposed to be! Bathed in light it shows that life has gone on, even though it is in bed. I threw on some of the things I do, all from my bed: books, games, audiobooks, sewing, laptop (and everything that allows, from campaigning to skyping to surfing the internet). Many of these things I enjoy doing with friends who continue to visit regularly.
I included small ornaments indicating interests I still enjoy, like Dr Who, Science Fiction, Science, and even my fish tanks.  The 3 pictures above the bed are ones I made myself and depict my love of wildlife and nature which I now indulge via documentaries.
I also added the toybox that my goddaughter and little sister love to play with when they come on their regular visits. Only, they don't play with the toys on the floor. Oh no! They love nothing more than to clamber up on the bed and play with me, dragging as many toys up as possible. The bed becomes a place of adventure, imagination, giggles and joy.

So yes, my life has become restricted. There is no doubt about that. I am extremely ill and I do need help and support. But at the same time life has gone on. People often ask me if I am bored. I think my bed has the answer to that!

P.S. As an aside, this is where the Spartacus Report was mostly written: in that bed, under the duvet with that laptop and a bucket load of painkillers!

1 comment:

  1. Bed life has had meaning for me in past, possibly in a more figurative or symbolic sense, my home has been my prison when I've been unwell with agoraphobia and major depressive illness. I may not have been forced into my bed by the illness, but I have been so debilitated that rooms have become hubs and dens, places of comfort and discomfort.

    Since becoming involved in Bedding Out with Liz I've really become interested in how people view others who, due to their illnesses or disabilities, have to spend time in bed or in their homes. We are all aware of the 'widescreen SKY TV, rhetoric peddled about to ensure folks despise our need for financial support, but I really hope can be achieved as part of Liz Bedding Out is a dent in that myth, and that can only come from people talking and sharing very personal stuff.

    Quite often in describing severe depression I will explain that even had I a vague urge to watch daytime drivvel on TV, when I was ill I could not summon the energy to move the three feet away from my chair to pick up the remote control.

    Love your daybed by the way :)