Growing up I always had an affinity with the night. It was when I did my most productive work, alone in my bedroom free from noise and distractions. I would find comfort in the subdued light and quiet stillness, losing a sense of time and being absorbed in the moment of creating art.
As I became an adult, the night quickly became my biggest fear, paralyzing me with endless hours of worry and the goal of restful sleep. I am apprehensive about heading to bed. Not for the reasons you would suspect, nightmares, ghosts, or aliens under the bed. I dread not being able to fall asleep. Sometimes I start out well and sleep for a couple of hours before I am wide awake and scanning for things to worry about. Neither over the counter medications, breathing exercises nor meditation seem to help; lying awake or pacing around the house only worsens my insomnia.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most popular treatment for chronic insomnia, like mine. Sleep therapists break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of your sleep patterns and anxieties. My therapist suggested I start keeping a sleep journal to document my sleeping times in order to identify blocks of time when I am asleep. Sleepless chronicles my sleep periods and contains illustrations reflective of my angst. My muse is the bed, which historically has been associated as a symbol of home and security — the images present the viewer with a deeper look into my world of nighttime sleeplessness. The artwork evokes times of change and uncertainty, including moments associated with childhood, illness, and death. Infinite wakeful nights send the mind into overdrive for those overwhelmed with insomnia.
About Rebecca Sexton Larson
Rebecca Sexton Larson is a Tampa based studio artist working with photographic processes. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Fine Arts
and a degree in Mass Communications. Sexton Larson has been awarded three Florida Individual Artist Fellowships (1998, 2002, and 2008). In 2006, she received an Artist Enhancement Grant from the State of Florida and, in 2005, was commissioned by the City of Tampa as its Photographer Laureate for a year. As Photo Laureate, she documented from her perspective the visual poetry of Tampa using a standard pinhole camera combined with hand-painting b/w photographs. Sexton Larson’s photographs are in numerous significant collections throughout the country, including Polaroid; Progressive Corporate Art; Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young); Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland); Cassilhaus (Durham, NC); Museum of Fine Arts (St.Petersburg); the Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa); Historical Museum (Santa Fe); and Candela Gallery (Richmond, VA ). Many of her one-of-a-kind works are in private collections. Her photographs have been featured in photographic publications including Salted Paper Printing by Christina Z. Anderson, The Polaroid Project by various curators, Poetics of Light: Contemporary Pinhole Photography by Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer, View Camera Magazine, Black and White Magazine, Square Magazine, Afterimage, and others. [Official Website]