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Colin Hambrook on Liz Crow's 'Bedding-In' / 2 November 2012

I often edit DAO from my bed. As someone with ME who has limited capacity for getting out and about responding to emails, publishing and sub-editing are frequently done between bouts of resting in bed.

So when Liz Crow sent DAO a proposal for a Diverse Perspectives commission for an artwork involving a live bed-in I was particularly intrigued. Her intention for the live performance was to make a statement about the immense contradiction between the public face of the artist as someone with an extrovert ego, capable of juggling demands from all directions; and the private face of the individual for whom every outing means a whole level of demand that has to remain hidden to justify any level of support from the state.

The performance also has a connection with Yoko Ono and John Lennon's bed-in staged as an act of nonviolent protest in support of peace, over forty years ago now. Knowing that their wedding would cause a huge stir in the press, the couple decided to use the opportunity to invite the press to their bedroom to talk about world peace.

There is something about the function the bed plays and the taboo that surrounds what happens in bed, that will make an interesting starting point for the emerging artwork. Bedding In is also an exploration of ‘the gaze’. The disabled body has long been subject to the fascination of others, with a long history of images of disabled people as subjects of tragedy and pity in circus sideshows, the poster child and medical demonstrations. The live performance will, in part, be about how the audience responds and how Crow controls the gaze she is subject to.

Each day, members of the public will be invited to join the artist in Bedside Conversations at Ipswich Art School Gallery until 3 November - gathering round the bed or perching upon it to talk about the work, its backdrop, its politics.

To find out more about Liz Crow's work go to Roaring Girl Productions

Keywords: live art,liz crow,performing arts


Liz Crow

1 March 2013

Thanks for your lovely comment, Kaitlyn. Sorry for the long delay in responding - I've just spotted your comment. I'll be doing another version of the work - Bedding Out - from April 10 to 12, this time with a big social media/virtual participation element. It would be great if you and your partner would take a look and join in - either in Salisbury or virtually! Lots more information at: All the best, Liz


6 November 2012

This is incredible. the more I read about it the more happy I am that she's doing this.

during the Paralympics I found the tweets of some of the athletes very interesting as they talked about #WhatYouDontSee in relation to the pain they deal with on a daily basis. My partner deals with chronic pain after a car accident 16 years ago.

The reality of the effort it takes just to get out of bed in the morning is something I understand and appreciate. I think this piece will really highlight it for those who do not experience it themselves or see it in a family member or friend.