Beauty Sleep by Chelsey Campbell

beauty sleep explores the complex issue of forced intimacy on sick and disabled bodies in social space. The soft folds of a down-filled blanket are etched into cotton rag paper, resting on top is intersecting text, a call and response to the performative pressures of masking illness and passing for ‘healthy’ under the scrutiny of strangers. beauty sleep explores the pressure to mask pain and perform ‘wellness’ in social space, the laser etches away at the surface of the rag paper revealing hidden truths. 

MATERIAL: Somerset satin cotton rag paper


CUTTING/ENGRAVING TIME: ~1 ½ hours for 2 passes (one pass on x-axis, one pass on y-axis)


File was a black and white photograph, digitally enhanced with for contrast. For efficiency, multiples of the print were placed on the canvas so four prints were created on each sheet of rag paper. 


Trotec software settings Standard, enhanced geometry, Stucki, 333 dpi

Material Template settings Paper (Cardboard) Engraving P: 56.31 |  V: 100  |  W: 500

NOTES: Paper was held down with masking tape.

TROUBLE SHOOTING: Some slight banding (a lighter colour band in the image area about 1” wide) occurred when etching along the x-axis; this issue was corrected by a second pass etching along the y-axis. The second pass also enhanced the depth of the etch, creating a more dimensional print.


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