Donna Giles
The Bedroom

About The Show

Furniture elements associated with this specific domestic space, a bed, a chair, a shelf, a calendar are re created by using both traditional handcrafts (embroidery, crocheting, quilting) and digital technology (photography, photocopying).

The Bedroom installation defines space: space occupied, space waiting, space remembering, space dreaming. I am falling asleep with thoughts of generations past talking with generations to come. In sleep, stories are dreamed and redreamed, cycles of seasons and cycles of life rehearsed. Trees form buds, grow leaves, change colour and drop leaves with changing seasons. Each life narrative blends with lives of others, memories remain colourful. I work in layers and combine pieces that fit together like a quilt pattern forming the stories of our lives.

The blending of bodies, unseen in the still life of this installation are present in implication. The home holds space for the domestic witness. The bedroom welcomes intimacy. Intimacy of bodies blending, intimacy of thoughts honoured, intimacy of words spoken. The male, the female. Both present. Both celebrated.

Images of outside are brought inside and inhabit the signifiers of human comfort in the bedroom. The layers of our lives are congruent - coincide exactly when superimposed - with the natural world around us. We are consistent and in agreement with the seasons and years, growth and decay, life cycles and death.

A structure, created from sticks wrapped with cord and suspending rows of photographic negatives crocheted together, stands tree-like, illuminated on the bedroom wall. The negatives contain moments and memories of people and places, the documentation of domestic life. They hang, like leaves representing the natural seasons of lives lived. Time will destroy the negatives and the images, like time blurring our memories of the past.

This installation was part of Still ...Moves: Inside and Outside the Still Life Genre, a group exhibit at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, curated by V. Jane Gordon, from November 2 to December 8, 2006. It was also at the Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, Ontario from February 24 to April 2, 2007.