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Medical News & Perspectives
May 7, 2003

Insomniac Artists Explore Night's Terrain

JAMA. 2003;289(17):2200-2201. doi:10.1001/jama.289.17.2200

Washington, DC—A mock bedroom draws viewers into the world of the insomniac. The neatly made bed looks welcoming, but it is too flimsy to sleep on. Assembled from cardboard boxes, with sheets and bed skirt fashioned from plastic garbage bags and newspapers, the bed testifies to its creator's fragile nights.

A quilt lays bare the loneliness and longing that stalk the wakeful artist, or perhaps merely her fictive alter-ego. Bonnie Lee Holland stitched together clippings from newspapers she perused on sleepless nights—a patchwork of advertisements for dating services, cruise ships, and liposuction, and articles on relationships, aging, and weight loss. A nightstand rests on a stack of romance novels, its top displaying a game of chance, with a single male figure at its center .