Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

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Why Is The Bedroom So Cold?

Why Is The Bedroom So Cold?

These images are from my illustrated book 'Why Is The Bedroom So Cold', based on the 1994 biography, 'Touching From A Distance' about the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. Written by his wife Deborah Curtis, it is a raw account of a failing marriage between a naive young mother and a husband who is struggling to balance new found fame, epilepsy, depression and infidelity. Curtis famously takes his life by his own hand in May 1980 at the age of 23.

What excited me about this story was the sharp contrast between the two lives in question. I split it into two narratives that would be presented back to back in the same book with the use of separate colour palettes and paper textures to highlight this contrast. These images are from Deborah's story and show the wallpaper life that she lives, oblivious to the storm in her husbands mind. These images are from my illustrated book 'Why Is The Bedroom So Cold', based on the 1994 biography, 'Touching From A Distance' about the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis . Written by his wife Deborah Curtis, it is a raw account of a failing marriage between a naive young mother and a husband who is struggling to balance new found fame, epilepsy, depression and infidelity. Curtis famously takes his life by his own hand in May 1980 at the age of 23.

My main interest in the story was the contrast between the two lives in question. I split it into two narratives that would be presented back to back in the same book with the use of separate colour palettes and paper textures to highlight this contrast. These images are from Deborah's story and show the wallpaper life that she lives, oblivious to the storm in her husbands mind. I used subtle visual descriptors to suggest unease, the open door, the empty photo-frames and the faint mess of lines above Ian's head.

Ian and Deborah Curtis
Home Scenes
Open Door and Photo Frames