It’s three in the morning, and anything is possible. While some people are tucked up in bed dreaming the night away, nightowls are still out in bars and clubs living it up. Maybe the night sky is studded with stars, or obscured the orange glow of urban streetlights. Perhaps dreams seem more like nightmares, full of ghosts and monsters that turn a peaceful night into a time of terror, when every creak signals approaching danger. Maybe there is no sleep at all, and the night is spent staring at the ceiling, fretting over the day to come or the day just survived.
Group exhibition 3am: Wonder, Paranoia and the Restless Night features 22 UK and international artists and their visions of the mysterious night time hour. For participants such as Sandra Cinto, 3am means limitless space. Her large-scale fabric installations convey infinity and the silent vacuum in their representations of the galaxy. In a more temporal interpretation, Michael Palm and Willi Dorner take to the streets for the film Body Trail, following a couple of youths through the city and intermittently encountering them piled in living sculptures. Another urban explorer is Danny Treacy, who cuts an unsettling figure in his wardrobe of reassembled grubby clothes found on the streets. Curated by the Bluecoat‘s Angela Kingston and exhibited by Chapter gallery, Cardiff, 3am: Wonder, Paranoia and the Restless Night will be shown until 2 March, and there is a companion publication available from Liverpool University Press.