Troyeville Bedtime Story remains one of the most enduring pieces of modern public art in Johannesburg. It was installed in 2011 on a park corner by the side of the busy Albertina Sisulu Road in Troyeville, a historic downtown neighbourhood that has long been home to a community of ambitious artists.
The work is a cleverly rendered concrete bed complete with plush studded headboard, creased pillows and "silk" sheets carefully moulded from concrete. Since its installation it has hosted photo sessions, storytelling events and has at times also been a platform for performance art, part of a never-ending bedtime story.
The work of photographer and artist Johannes Dreyer, designer Damien Grivas and public art consultant Lesley Perkes, the bed came about through neighbourhood activism to transform an unsightly rubble pile on the fringes of the park, which lies below the Troyeville Ridge.The amazing story of the bed’s installation and of the many art actions it has seen over the years is documented in an entertaining tumblr blog that also pays homage to the late Lesley Perkes who led the project. Perkes sadly passed away from cancer in early 2015 and since her death the Troyeville Bedtime Story has become a poignant monument to her dedication to beautifying the city of Johannesburg through thoughtful and inspiring public sculptures and art installations.