“I’ll sit on my bed in the dark with my window wide open at 3am and watch the people in the windows of the flats across from me. There’s this Asian girl who keeps all her dairy products on the windowsill and I can see the mosque and the stars.”
Felted air, brushed elbows and sunken warmth are in heavy reverie. All of us together, wrapped in a cape of dreams, lightly enveloped between one another’s unconcerned teaspoon curves. Someone turns away, scrunching the cover between their knees, one eye swaps to the other side, an arm flops. A limp form rests its head next to my right shoulder. Their bodies undisclosed, and now when I open my eyes and come to, my joints stiff, I readjust, shuffle my legs an inch or two, slide my shoulder back, swap to lying on my front, stretch my right arm above my head and place the other arm between my folded knees. I enjoy the stretch. My head is heavy but comfortably sunk in the pillow; I lift it for one last quick check to see who else is there and let it fall back. Morning light enters the room in wisps, the milky curtains shine.
“…I was sat on the floor around 9:30pm watching these films by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, you have to sit on a large stretch of red carpet whilst multiple films surround you along with flashing lights and sounds… I didn’t read the description of the film(s) so ended up focusing on this one film of these boys in a big red tent sleeping together, completely platonically, and made up my own story…”
“I began looking at the concept of sleeping with people in a non-sexual way. Some of my fondest memories – where I’ve felt most relaxed and at peace with the world – are of lying in bed with my family and friends. There’s something that happens to your mind when you’re in bed with someone you feel completely comfortable with, it’s a sort of complete ease that is almost unparalleled. I began considering the theme of ‘Traditional Borderlines’, and how we lose the distinction between whose body is whose when we share a bed.”
Whose body is whose? Sutherland’s piece for the White Show morphs figures and narratives. A small stuffed head is grafted to the right shoulder of model Hikaru. In faint but suggestive needlework, a delicate line of a smile plays across its face, a slight protrusion for the button nose and another for the chin. All in an illustrated style – lines made into three dimensional forms – Jamie’s drawing hand suggests itself through this figure. Below this, a puffed out elbow-less arm flops to the side. Framing what could be considered a comparatively violent act amongst the softness of the piece; a raw slit in the fabric which allows Hikaru’s arm to peek out, just enough arm for the wrist to find itself limply resting in a floppy bowed sling secured to the left shoulder. Support, comfort and convalescence. The eye leads you past the casual crew neck to a squishy eye patch similarly suggesting past injury, which now is in need of protection, a shield for the body in this state of transformation: all signifiers of invisible crossed boundaries.
Words Maia Gaffney-Hyde