Buxton Fringe: Remember the performance where the artist falls asleep?

Artist Yulia Hampton
Artist Yulia Hampton

Who doesn’t like the idea of sleeping under the stars - but on the Market Place, on carnival night?

Intrepid Fringe artist Yulia Hampton is planning to settle down to sleep on an elevated platform - part bed, part stage - on Buxton’s Town Hall piazza this July.

For her performance installation Untitled, The Deep Sleep, Yulia plans to settle down to sleep on an elevated platform - part bed, part stage.

For her performance installation Untitled, The Deep Sleep, Yulia plans to settle down to sleep on an elevated platform - part bed, part stage.

Her performance installation, Untitled, The Deep Sleep, will take place on various evenings during the Fringe - including riotous carnival night itself on July 13.

Audiences will also be able to see the ‘bed’ at the Pavilion Gardens on some nights.

Born in Kyrgyzstan, Hampton was inspired by childhood camping trips.

“Falling asleep under the open sky while gazing at the stars has been the fondest memory of my childhood,” she says.

“Ever since, if I see a chance to sleep in the open air, I drag my mattress outside, be it on the roof of a rented house or on a hotel room balcony.”

She is fascinated by the theatre of the absurd and says her work explores “the absence of meaning through sleep”.

She explains: “During deep sleep you are not located in space or time; you can’t feel your gender or age. Psychologically you don’t exist.”

All of which leads her to conclude, if the artist is absent: “To what extent am I performing?”

And how the public might respond is all part of it. She says: “At once serious and absurd, the project has no agenda.

READ MORE: Bottom’s up as comedian Rob Rouse returns to the Buxton Festival Fringe

“The public can join me in sleep, or simply watch – free to decide how to engage with the work in any way they wish – there are no rules or instructions.”

As for the sheer noise of the fun fair, the globe-trotting artist, who has taken her project to 20 European cities, says: “I’ve slept in various places and conditions including an intersection, shopping mall and nightclub.

“Once your ears adjust… your body tends to let go. The difficult part is to calm your heart racing.”

Having lived in many parts of the world from Russia to South Korea, Lebanon and Dubai, Hampton is now based in London. She says her former “gypsy lifestyle” has given her valuable communication skills and an appetite for the unexpected.

“My work, like my life, is about freedom, contradiction, experimentation and the influence of chance,” she adds.

“As Mary Poppins once said ‘anything can happen if you let it.’”