We can’t speak for everyone, but when it comes to a choice between being in bed and being just about anywhere else in the world, it’s pretty obvious which one we’d go for. Be it single, king-size, bunk or blow-up, there’s nothing quite like a bed to make you feel just that little bit better, a feeling London-based photographer Jennifer Lo totally gets.
“We spend our lifetime in beds and it’s in these moments we can create the most profound memories. Even an image of an empty bed is capable of evoking a certain time in our lives,” says Lo. It’s exactly these qualities which were the inspiration for her new project, BEDSPREAD, a celebration of beds and all the emotions associated with them.
BEDSPREAD is a photo series zine from contributors world-wide, capturing the pertinence and personality of beds and the people in them. Lo has also planned an exhibition to coincide with the launch of BEDSPREAD – which has been funded with the help of Kickstarter – taking place at Dalston’s Doomed Gallery on 15 September.
We got between the sheets with Lo, to find out just what this project means to her.
Was there a pivotal, bed related moment that initially inspired you to begin this project?
Documenting beds has been an on going theme throughout my personal work. I like that when I look at an image I’ve taken of a bed it can remind me of where I was and what was going on at a certain time in my life. We spend our lifetime in beds so it’s no surprise these memories are the ones that stick with us the most… and I probably thought up of the idea of doing BEDSPREAD while lying in bed.
How did you go about sourcing work from other artists and photographers?
I initially got in touch with some of my favourite artists like Li Hui and Alba Yruela, whose works I’ve been a huge fan of for years and years, and they were really keen on the idea. I also did a shout out on social media for submissions. A lot of the other submissions have been from friends and people I follow on Instagram… it’s been great receiving submissions from people who aren’t necessarily practicing photographers – I think it’s interesting to see people’s reasons behind taking an image with a bed.
Do you have a favourite memory linked specifically to being in bed?
Ha I have a few. I guess mainly being with my friends, hanging out having smokes in bed etc.
Whose do you think is the most powerful image of BEDSPREAD? What emotions do you feel when you look at it?
I’m really happy with all the contributors involved in the first issue and I love all the images in it. If I had to pick one I’d say Liz-Ann’s image of her father in bed taken in 2013. It’s a very poignant photo to her as it is one of the last photos of him before dementia really set in; he passed away six months later. It’s a beautiful, peaceful image but unfortunately with a heartbreaking story behind it. I’m glad Liz-Ann is able to look back and find consolation in it.
Do you believe in sleep hygiene?
Yes, sleep is so important. I try my best to practice it. I work from home/in my bedroom a lot so it’s sometimes hard to switch off when you work where you sleep. I’m still working on that… naps are great too when you’ve got the time.
Is there anyone whose bed you would be intrigued to see and maybe photograph? If so, why?
I have a photograph of my grandad sat on his bed in his bedroom in Hong Kong in the 70’s, it’s one of my favourite images. If I he was still around I would have loved to do a shoot with him based on it.
The aesthetic of the project is very clean, calm, serene. Is your bed like this?
Yes, my bed is where I go to relax so I like to keep it that way.
What do you see as being the future of BEDSPREAD?
I see BEDSPREAD as an ongoing project, definitely. I’d love to have many more issues out in the future. I’ll be working on the second issue sometime early next year, I have already received some great submissions for it so I’m looking forward to working on that. I think there are so many unseen images with beds out there that have a story behind them – I want BEDSPREAD to be a platform for individuals who share that idea.
Though BEDSPREAD is primarily photography based I want to do more collaborations with other artists, illustrators etc.
My friend Amanda Gray has helped design a tote bag and another friend Joe Smith has written a wonderful piece that’s featured in the first issue. Chile based animator Xaviera Lopez will also be exhibiting a piece at the launch and exhibition… so more of that next year.