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Pillow talk

Richard Sorrell, Morning in Bed, (c) Richard Sorrell 2023

I was down at Bankside Gallery over the weekend with my daughter Sally. We both took a shine to Richard Sorrell's Morning in Bed, currently hanging in the RWS Autumn show. "That's me and Jack in a few years", said Sally. How reassuring, I thought. Also how tender a subject, how universal and yet how seldom painted. We spend a third of our lives in bed - in my case rather more ... I've always been good at sleeping. I nod off for hours on coach journeys and can sleep for the majority of a long-haul flight to Australia. Now I'm retired, I indulge myself with a daily 1 or 2 hour afternoon nap.

Being bed together with another person is surely the closest connection we can have with another body. I don't mean sex, but intimacy, facing each other eye to eye on a soft pillow, sharing warmth under a duvet or blankets and exchanging pillow talk. But looking again at Morning in Bed, maybe I was wrong. There does seems to be a look of surprise on the man's face and a teasing smile on the woman's lips as she moves her hand under the bed clothes....

Here are a couple more bed pictures:

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Dans le lit, 1892

David Hockney (poster detail), Two boys aged 23 or 24 (c) David Hockney

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