‘Nightstand Collective’ Offers Insight Into Chronic Conditions

Nightstand Medication

If you live with chronic illness, your nightstand often becomes to go-to place to keep medications. A new art project from a Washington-based artists is now challenging people to ask what their nightstands say about them.

Washington-based artist, producer and writer Emma Jones has launched The Nightstand Collective, which was created for the chronic illness community to share their stories and connect with one another. Completely run off voluntary submissions, each image caption shares the photographer’s illness and all the items on their nightstand.

The project is a personal one for Jones, who lives with multiple chronic illnesses including including endometriosis, asthma, autoimmune thyroiditis, depression and anxiety.

“I spent my time wondering what other people had on their nightstands, what their coping methods were, what they were reading and what were they reaching for to provide some connection to a wider world. Just thinking about that made me feel a sense of community throughout a very isolating experience,” said Jones to Mashable. “Only a few people see your nightstand. It becomes a really intimate portrait that reflects our vulnerabilities, hopes and dreams. It can reveal what keeps us up at night — and what we do to comfort ourselves.”

By documenting the nightstands that often include the life-savings items people “need for survival,” Jones said she wants to offer more comprehensive view of chronic illness and create conversation around it.

“Stories heal us,” she said. “Both processing our own and hearing other people’s.”