The short version is that I’ve been working on Goodnight Sweetheart for three years. It’s a small photo book featuring photographs of dumped mattresses that I’ve found on my travels. I love a dumped mattress. Once buoyant and full of spring, they’re now tatty and waiting for the bin, musing on past glories…

…just like me and people like me: men over 40.

The A5 book features 52 pages of photography and words and has been printed as a limited edition run of 150 copies on 170 gsm recycled paper. It is available to purchase for £14 including postage anywhere around the world.

The long version is a little more interesting.

I see dumped mattresses as powerful metaphors for the male condition – a symbol of the way men feel as they start to get that bit older and past their physical prime. Men don’t talk about their feelings much, and this book is an attempt to bring their thoughts out with a smile and say that we all feel this way sometimes, and it’s okay to talk about it.

The discarded mattresses featured in Goodnight Sweetheart were found during my travels over the past three years. They were discovered in murky street corners and in broad daylight all over the world, from Eastbourne to Leicester to Hong Kong; and shot with 35mm SLRs, rangefinders and even medium format cameras- whatever I happened to have with me when I turned a corner and saw a mattress. Featured opposite each photograph is one of 25 poems, thoughts or musings, contributed by suitably well-aged gentlemen who hail from equally diverse locations.

The words accompanying each photograph cover myriad subjects – reflections on youth, regret, growing older along with bitter outbursts at the futility of life – all adding up to a book that is darkly comic yet poignant at the same time.

Contributions include words from comedians, bloggers, artists, filmmakers and photographers – including EM (whose website you’re reading this on), and Hamish Gill of 35mmc.

All profits from the book’s sale will go to CALM, a UK-based male mental health charity. CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably is an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide; the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. In 2015, 75% of all UK suicides were male and now in 2018, 84 young men are committing suicide every week.

You can find out more about the book, the project and how to purchase a copy over at my website.

Thanks for reading,

~ Anil



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About the author

Avatar - Anil Mistry

Anil Mistry is a creative director and photographer.

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  1. Very interesting project. Like that it features writing, which seems to me equally interesting and important for the presentation.

    Love the memory foam mattress ad that showed up on the page as I read this.