“Historic buildings such as these often leave a legacy, with this room being the former residence of Artist John Lavery, Cromwell Place has built its reputation on just that sentiment. Comparably another Artist who lived at the same time as him was Frederic Leighton, yet for all his wealth and opulence his bedroom was not as remarkable as this space. Much has been speculated about his life, but many believe he lived in secrecy concealing the fact that he was gay. Tucked away in the magnificence of his estate, his bed was perhaps nothing but a vessel for sleep, transporting him from one day to the next.
When I was a teenager I remember visiting a friend's bedroom and on her wall, she had a huge poster of One Direction. I didn't have any posters on my bedroom wall, definitely not of One Direction, but through re-accessing the band in my young adulthood I've realised they are just one example of not being able to freely express how I felt about myself growing up. Like Frederic Leighton, the spaces in which we are to feel most at home, are often the ones where we don't.
There are many things we can do in a bed, it's a monument that marks the beginning and ending of sorts, but perhaps the most important thing we ever do in it is dream. Fantasise about life and its infinite potential. This bed in particular is a site where fantasy itself is manifested, indicating a moment in time of a gay relationship. Larry Stylinson, the unproven romance of Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson is one of the most longed-for queer fantasies. The proposition that “Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson had sex on this bed'', is as much speculation of the past as it is a longing for the future.
Yet, this isn't just the site of a fantasy, but being my bed, it is also where I spent most of my formative years imagining such possibilities. With One Direction being the backdrop to my adolescence, my youth spent in proximity to theirs, This bed becomes an archive of a community of like-minded individuals who have longed for queer intimacy and representation;
This bed is a testament to queer survival;
This bed is a boyhood spent of unrequited love and youth,
searching for something to make real.
This declaration offers up a rewriting of the history of not only these spaces, but of the narrative of One Direction. To leave a legacy that is more appropriate through the transformative power and futurity of queerness. Larry Is Real, might be a mythical calling forth of a utopian ideal of celebrity fantasy and society, but the function of it is not one of desire, but of need, of the need for queer visibility and a celebration of what could happen and what could have been if we were all the more open.”
Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson had Sex on this Bed
Double Bed and Beddding,
Perspex Plaque, Latex Condom and Wrapping,
Lube, Poppers, Poster Prints