The Enigmatic Realm of Sleep: "In midst of this thine hymn”
My series has given me the opportunity to delve into the world of sleep, a place people can escape to. I have been photographing beds from all over the world as well as the people in them whether they be awake or asleep. I wanted to research and address the importance of sleep on both mental and physical health especially when it is so often taken for granted. I am interested in the nature of our body language whilst sleeping and the dream cycle, as well as the intimacy of such a project. I had to spend a lot of time convincing friends, family, strangers and anyone who would listen to allow me to take their picture...this was even harder to do when they knew they'd be sleeping and less aware of the photo being taken. It is fascinating to learn the rituals, patterns and habits of people about to sleep or just waking up, not only in my country but around the world, people of all ages, cultures, genders and backgrounds. Even the bed itself and area where one sleeps is very telling. One of the things that interests me the most is how even the cruelest of people (I could name a large proportion of dictators) or the most successful leaders must succumb to the intense seduction of our deepest slumber. People appear so innocent when they sleep and for once during this period one cannot feel the pressures of everyday life and time ticking by. Interestingly I discovered how much I had underestimated sleep and the connection between sleep and mental and physical health until I started this project. Many of my subjects talked about the effects of their sleep on their waking lives. I hope through my images and accompanying historical and modern stories about sleep to show the public the beauty of sleep but also the dangers of such a natural occurrence in life.