The choreography of sleep
By Lucy Davies Photography Last updated: April 8th, 2010
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When I was nine years old, my best friend and I devoted more conversation than was healthy to imagining what we might look like when we were asleep. She proposed an experiment: a sleep-over, during which one of us would wait for the other to nod off, take a photograph with her trusty Halina 208, and repeat in reverse. Needless to say it was flawed science because neither of us could fall asleep in the excitement of being on the frontier of discovery.
Suffice it to say my curiosity has not been quashed. I still sometimes find myself idly speculating on this most tantalising of subjects, and a quick email poll says I’m not alone, too (although one pollee admits this is only because she has a habit of falling asleep on buses).
I had cause to think on this yesterday when the Australian photographer Olivia Martin Mcguire sent me examples from a series she’s been hard at work on titled ‘Sleepers’, which pictures a number of individuals and couples at the very moment self departs and sleep takes hold. “I was hoping to catch the psychology of the shell – as in the body – once the inhibitions of consciousness were gone” she told me.