Will Ryman was a playwright before he became a sculptor, and his work draws as much from the realm of theatre as it does from art. Spanning over 8 metres, The Bed is both a monumental sculpture and a stage. Made from papier mâché, Ryman's giant man reclines in a dreamy world, somewhere between Sunday morning lie-in bliss and nervous breakdown, basking in the clutter of notebooks, beer cans and open bags of crisps. This is the first time that Ryman's work will be exhibited in the UK.
The Bed's depiction of slacker idleness is humorously at odds with its oversized, commanding spectacle, and its clunky forms become both props and performers in an anti-drama of epic proportions. The bed itself operates literally as a platform or stage, the centre of expectant action and entertainment.
"The Bed began as a personal play with scale in 2006 when I became fascinated with a possibility of the world as seen from a different point of view. Everybody sees things in a distorted way of course but I remember as a child, for instance, coming into my parents' bedroom and having the impression of their bed being much bigger than it actually was. Here The Bed is a metaphor for a similar ongoing feeling, which I believe everyone carries throughout their life, trying to figure how you feel and who you are and what your place is in relation to things that surround you."